Monday, March 31, 2008

Art-By-The-Yard


On the floor, standing in a roll, is about 50 feet of wallpaper. On the wall behind it is the wallpaper for the next section. I can work on about 10-20 feet at a time. Almost all recycled materials.

Living Out of A Suitcase.


I'm here and there for the last few days and will be for another few days but I'm visiting blogs and checking in...

I'm a few posts away...maybe less, from my 1,000th post.

Wish you were here...

Stagg's Pimp Chalice


Nope, I don't use this glass, it's his special glass. We got it at a vintage comic book store. It's my big pimp daddy's glass.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Gimme A Body


If Madonna's new cd wasn't exciting enough...there is a new Keanu Reeves movie coming out same week.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Dr. Lyle Thurston, R.I.P.

About ten years ago while visiting my sister in Vancouver her and her hubby convinced me to go to a remote island off the coast of Tofino with no electricity or running water except for solar panels in a house that only played opera.

I was skeptical. I'd found myself in various communes and monasteries and remote alternative living situations that ranged from wonderful to nerve-grating in my youth and I wasn't particularily sure I wanted to roll the dice on this trip. The destination wasn't somewhere you could just call for a taxi. I didn't want to get trapped in the middle of nowhere with granola and corn and conspiracy freaks.

She sold me on the idea because she said I'd get used to the opera, it suited the ambiance, she wanted me to see some wilderness like we grew up in on Quadra Island...a sort of revisit of our childhood adventures...and she assured me there would be a glass of red wine served in a bath tub raised over a wood burning fire on the beach to watch the stars.

She also said I'd love the company, especially our host.

I was still skeptical, but hey...the idea of a week or two on the farthest land of the west coast of Canada did kind of appeal to me. She also knew I had a weakness for Tofino.

Four of us hopped into the car and caught the ferry to Nanaimo and just as we pulled off the ferry a CBC biography of Chet Baker began and it set the tone for the following days. We were ecstatic. We happened to be listening to the CBC because two of us were full time reporters and my sister and I had done various stints for the CBC. Loyalty to the Canadian institution which has been good to us all. I don't know why but it took us about four hours to get to Tofino...where we had to scrabble to the grocery and liquor stores and hire a water taxi. We spent something like 600 bucks on food and 400 bucks on booze.

I realized the sober part of the journey was way behind us...Don't even ask me how the four of us managed to carry all the supplies. I can tell you at some point about 45 minutes into grovelling over the rainforest gnarly floor I was creating some world class swearing combinations. I felt I had made a grave choice...I was not interested in adventure any more.

Don't get me wrong the rainforest is gorgeous, but it would have been a lot more beautiful if I hadn't had 200 pounds of vodka and beer on my back. How much could these bloody journalists drink?! I realized I didn't even hardly know my brother in law or his wildly decadent friend, who seemed to be suffering even more than myself hiking on mossy rocks and tree trunks. Who cared if he was some well known international reporter. Shit.

Half knackered we finally arrived at Lyle's house. It was ungodly quiet not even an aria. Inside was the most gorgeous young French man half naked and suddenly...the bitchingly hilarious international reporter and I woke up afresh. We both said "He's MINE!"

I was about to have one of the most fabulous holidays of my life. The host was everything my sister said and more. His name was Lyle and he made me initiate my visit by climbing a ladder and sliding down into some kind of macrame birth canal and then we all drank like Hemingway for the rest of the night. Lyle kept me charmed with stories about Greenpeace and taking acid in an experimental program when he was in med school in Saskatchewan. (I've written here about that LSD experiment as a treatment for mental illness along with vitamin therapy)

Among Lyle's houseguests were two other young men who were planning on buying the property. I was surrounded by my gay peeps and in heaven. Lyle needed the place painted so we all pitched in...his house was built with wood that was flown in from the mainland by helicopter in the 60's or 70's. We caught fish all day and ate them for supper or my sister cooked up other marvelous meals. One evening she dug a pit on the beach and cooked a lamb buried a couple feet under hot rocks. Like butter. We took turns at night sitting in the aforementioned tub under the stars with the Pacific ocean pounding on the stoney beach. The cast iron tub, also flown in by helicopter was so hot we had to have a sheet of plywood protect our bottoms...and it was glorious like sitting on a surf board in a spa. The islands neighbours popped by or we went on small walks to visit them, the one thing everyone had in common aside from nature-loving, was a love of good food and cooking and we all took turns impressing and feeding each other.

Lyle was a member of a commune that lived on Long Beach back in the day. When the B.C. government wanted to preserve the area as a National Park, they had to negotiate with these pranksters and so offered them an entire island as compensation for kicking them off what is now called Pacific Rim National Park. Can you imagine that there were areas of Canada that were so wild and available as recently as the 70's? It breaks my heart and amazes me and where Lyle had his house is one of the last great places in Canada.

Lyle was an incredible host and conversationalist and he turned me on to opera. When I was rummaging around his place I found a box of acrylic paints and some brushes. He said he wanted to try to paint in his retirement and he hadn't but I could go ahead and use some. I carried the box down to the beach and painted on empty food boxes all day. He was the kind of person you read about but rarely actually get to meet in life. A free spirit, a gay man who lived out of the closet years before Stonewall he loved people and interesting people were intensely attracted to him, and he didn't suffer fools. I also felt a huge kinship with him because he seemed to love my bro-in-law so much and my sister and he had a seasoned delight her cooking.

I was very sad tonight when my sister e-mailed me about his passing away, and I am grateful to have met such an amazing person even for such a short time. I feel bad for my sister and brother in law. Lyle was huge inspiration to them both especially when my brother in law was a young journalist starting out: He was a kind of metaphysical uncle to him.

Lyle was an inspiration to a lot of people and his reputation as a real life "character" seemed to be international. Remember that young French man? He had showed up at Lyle's the week before from France with a scrap of paper bearing a faint map drawn on how to find Lyle's remote cliff hanging house. Someone in France told him if he was ever in Canada he had to get to Lyle's place. He just showed up and Lyle put him to work repairing odds and ends.

I realize I have written perhaps too much about someone I didn't know for a long time or as dearly as a close friend...but I feel as if such a rare soul demands extra appreciation.

Thank you Lyle and I hope the spirits in the sky turned up the opera and had the party favours in full supply for your safe passage.

Here is an obituary from a Vancouver paper:

Greenpeace Founder Lyle Thurston dead

Dr. Lyle Thurston dies in hospital Tuesday. He was 70
The Province
Published: Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dr. Lyle Thurston, a founding member of Greenpeace, has died. He was 70.

Thurston was among the motley band of protesters who sailed from Vancouver on the Phyllis Cormack to a remote island off Alaska to protest against U.S. nuclear testing in 1971. Thurston was the ship's doctor.

For years Thurston lived in a North Vancouver commune with other environmentally conscious residents, among them lawyer Dave Gibbons, Dr. Myron McDonald and his wife Bobbie, all of whom played pivotal roles in the development of Greenpeace.


He later joined the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in several campaigns, including sailing to Washington in 1998 to save grey whales from a native hunt.

A pharmacist and physician, he sat on the board of the Window Pane Society, a Vancouver organization that helped young people beat their drug habits.

Thurston died in Victoria's Royal Jubilee Hospital on Tuesday after battling emphysema and a chest infection.

Family and friends respond
1972, Greenpeace Visits The Pope

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Beach Season



Actually, winter doesn't stop me from going to the beach. I like the beach with snow too. I took these pics on Commisioner's Street near lakeshore and on the way to Cherry Beach.


Pic of Cherry Beach from BlogTO

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Updated.... How To Protest?




Due to several valuable comments by visitors, I've moved this post up to the top here:

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this post...I am linking the commentors blogs...(I've also caught up on other comments on this page...and responded)



I phoned David Miller and spoke with an assistant, Don Wanagas, about Toronto Mayor David Miller visiting China for business. I voted for Miller and am concerned that people buying China made products, and working on business and trade deals with China may send a message to the Chinese government we support their ethics.

China has been on my shit list for decades. I still remember Tiananmen Square, I still remember their censoring of the internet, of restricting pregnancies, of making inferior stainless steel products and their neglect of the environment, and they are a totalitarian dictatorship.

Since China is governed by a totalitarian force, it is important to remember that the Chinese people may not agree with with their leaders. When the internet is censored it is difficult for us to hear all their voices. Perhaps by visiting China, by reading Chinese blogs, some of the oppressed will have a voice?

I am a Buddhist, introduced to Buddhism by the Dalia Lama, and have great respect for his opinions. I love the Olympics in general, and believe that sports is the marriage of art and war. I prefer sports over war. The Dalai Lama supports the Beijing Olympics and that gives me much to think about...

A lot of people do not agree with China and it's practices, and totalitarian government...yet they give their financial support to China by buying products made in China. How many of my blog visitors houses could I visit and find products made in China? Most computer mouse production is from China. So how can Canadians reject David Miller when they give money to China?

I asked Don Wanagas if by visiting China for business aren't we acting in denial of many Canadians feelings? Are we not giving the message that we agree with China if we give them money? He assured me that David Miller was travelling with an outspoken York University Professor and Miller and this Professor were hoping for an opportunity to express their feelings about China's policies if the opportunity arises.

I asked...considering China's attitude isn't that dangerous?

I also told Mr. Wanagas to tell David Miller I appreciated Miller's dig about the Federal government being the format that should take a stance against China rather than municipal government...but I still expect the city of Toronto to take a stance about ethics.

You can phone David Miller at 416-397-2489.


"I always support the Olympics", Dalai Lama.

In order for a boycott to work, there must be significant economic impact from those who have used or would purchase the products or services targeted by the boycott. From: Boycott Watch

Toronto's mission to China next month will open the way for Canadians to discuss human rights issues with the Chinese, Mayor David Miller says.

The comment followed questions yesterday about the timing of the city's mission to China, scheduled for April 13 to 20, in the context of violent protests in Tibet against Chinese rule.
John Spears, City Hall Burreau

"This mission implements significant goals and objectives of our Agenda for Prosperity by increasing economic activity in emerging markets with cities beyond North America," Miller said in a news release. "

"The business leaders who helped develop the agenda were clear that we should be taking these initiatives so that we may highlight Toronto as a hub for environmental innovation and a centre for global education and training."

Miller said promoting trade and the fight against climate change are other purposes of the trip.

"If we're going to address climate change, we need very much to do work in China," he said.

Two peas in a pod? Chinese President Hu Jintao and my favourie Prime Minister.




Related Links:

-Controversy
-CTV
-Do Boycotts work? The Guardian.
-China must talk to Dalai Lama...press release, Condolezza Rice
-French President may support boycott of opening ceremonies.
-56% of Canadians do not support an Olympics boycott.
-This morning at formal Olympic ceremony.
-Slate Magazine writes about boycotting oil companies

Commentors will be linked here: 1) Four Dinners 2) A Blog About Nowt 3) Avenida Central, Portugal (you can translate this site) 4) e-Citizen: le blog!, Paris 5) Notions of Being

The Food Network-Porn For Fat People

The Life of Buddha


Although this movie is an hour long, it's really well done and interesting...if you have the time or inclination...

Life of the Buddha is a major landmark documentary following Buddha on his journey from the lap of luxury to the verge of starvation and final enlightenment. Shot on location in Nepal and India, Life of the Buddha uses dramatic computer-generated images and recent archaeological discoveries to piece together this remarkable story. BBC Production.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Dharma Bums



"...The ego gropes in darkness, while the Self lives in light..." - Katha Upanishad

Krishna counsels Arjuna, beginning with the tenet that since souls are immortal, their deaths on the battlefield are just the shedding of the body, which is not the soul. Krishna goes on to expound on the yogic paths of devotion, action, meditation and knowledge. Fundamentally, the Bhagavad Gita proposes that true enlightenment comes from growing beyond identification with the ego, the little self, and that one must identify with the truth of the immortal Self, the soul or Atman, the ultimate divine consciousness. Through dispassion the yogi, or follower of a particular path of yoga, is able to transcend his mortality and attachment for the material world and see the infinite.


There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Hamlet





Hindu Blog

One With Life

You will be free to let go of your unhappiness the moment you recognize it as unintelligent. Negativity is not intelligent."

"What really matters is not what function you fulfill in this world, but whether you identify with your function to such an extent that it takes you over and becomes a role that you play. When you play roles you are unconscious. When you catch yourself playing a role, that recognition creates a space between you and the role."




"INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE

Any negative emotion that is not fully faced and seen for what it is in the moment it arises does not completely dissolve. It leaves behind a remnant of pain.

Children in particular find strong negative emotions too overwhelming to cope with and tend to try not to feel them. In the absence of a fully conscious adult who guides them with love and compassionate understanding into facing the emotion directly, choosing not to feel it is indeed the only option for the child at the time. Unfortunately, that early defense mechanism usually remains inplace when the child becomes an adult. The emotion still lives in him or her unrecognized and manifests indirectly, for example, as anxiety, anger, outbursts of emotion, a mood or even as a physical illness. In some cases, it interferes with or sabotages every intimate relationship. Most psychotherapists have met patients who claimed initially to have had a totally happy childhood, and later the opposite turned out to be the case. Those may be extreme cases, but nobody can go through childhood without suffering emotional pain. Even if both of your parents were enlightened, you would still find yourself growing up in a largely unconscious world.

The remnants of pain left behind by every strong negative emotion that is not fully faced, accepted, and then let go of join to form an energy field that lives in the very cells of your body.It consists not just of childhood pain, but also painful emotions that were added to it later in adolescence and during your adult life, much of it created by the voice of the ego. It is the emotional pain that is your unavoidable companion when a false sense of self is the basis of your life."

From A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Molecular Gastronomy





Or...expensive processed food?

If you are a fan of Top Chef you probably are familiar with the term molecular gastronomy. If you're not...well it's a bit like eating Dr. Seuss.

I am partly fascinated by the concept of physics and chemistry in food and I love the idea of food that looks like the chef was on acid. But...I don't like processed food. Even when I eat junk food I eat organic chocolate or crisps.

So...when I read about or watch chefs cooking with this 60's retro revamped food trend...I am a little dubious. I love the idea, but not the idea that it is so processed. The aspect I do like is the concentrated nutrition ...I eat a lot of concentrated food/condiments (umeboshi paste, miso, tahini, tamari, maple syrup, oolican) so when these recipes are nutritious, I kind of like that.











Originally published in France, This's book documents the sensory phenomena of eating and uses basic physics to put to bed many culinary myths. In each short chapter This presents a piece of debatable conventional wisdom-such as whether it is better to make a stock by placing meat in already boiling water, or water before it is boiled-and gives its history, often quoting famous French chefs, before making scientific pronouncements. In the chapter on al dente pasta, for instance, This discusses pasta-making experiments, the science behind cooking it and whether it is better to use oil or butter to prevent it from sticking. Most of the discussions revolve around common practices and phenomenon-chilling wine, why spices are spicy, how to best cool a hot drink-but more than a few are either irrelevant or Franco-specific (such as the chapters on quenelles and preparing fondue). This's experimentation, however, is not for the mildly curious, but readers unafraid to, say, microwave mayonnaise will find many ideas here.

Before antioxidants, extra-virgin olive oil and supermarket sushi commanded public obsession, the first edition of this book swept readers and cooks into the everyday magic of the kitchen: it became an overnight classic. Now, 20 years later, McGee has taken his slightly outdated volume and turned it into a stunning masterpiece that combines science, linguistics, history, poetry and, of course, gastronomy. He dances from the spicy flavor of Hawaiian seaweed to the scientific method of creating no-stir peanut butter, quoting Chinese poet Shu Xi and biblical proverbs along the way. McGee's conversational style—rich with exclamation points and everyday examples—allows him to explain complex chemical reactions, like caramelization, without dumbing them down. His book will also be hailed as groundbreaking in its breakdown of taste and flavor. Though several cookbooks have begun to answer the questions of why certain foods go well together, McGee draws on recent agricultural research, neuroscience reviews and chemical publications to chart the different flavor chemicals in herbs and spices, fruits and vegetables. Odd synergies appear, like the creation of fruity esters in dry-cured ham—the same that occur naturally in melons! McGee also corrects the European bias of the first edition, moving beyond the Mediterranean to discuss the foods of Asia and Mexico. Almost every single page of this edition has been rewritten, but the book retains the same light touch as the original. McGee has successfully revised the bible of food science—and produced a fascinating, charming text. From amazon

Thanks to CHOW for the molecular gastronomy cheat sheet

1. Pronouncing the famous names. Four of the biggest molecular gastronomy chefs have unpronounceable names. Nobody—NOBODY—knows how to pronounce them at first.

* Grant Achatz (Alinea; Chicago)—”Grant A-kitz,” as in “Packets.”
* Ferran Adrià (El Bulli; Girona, Spain)—This one is extra tricky, as you have to affect a Spanish accent: “Feh-RAHN Ah-dree-AH.”
* Homaro Cantu (Moto; Chicago)—”Ho-MAH-roe Can-TOO.”
* Wylie Dufresne (wd-50; New York City)—”WHY-lee Doo-FRAINE,” as in “Ukraine.”
* Heston Blumenthal (The Fat Duck; Bray, UK)—Just as it looks, but no molecular gastronomy cheat sheet would be complete without this trailblazing chef, whose signature dish, caviar on a white chocolate dish, has been duplicated by many.

2. Don’t call it molecular gastronomy. Like hippie or Tex-Mex, the term molecular gastronomy has stuck in the public consciousness as the de facto name for the science-lab brand of cooking we’re talking about here, thanks to French scientist Hervé This. However, the chefs who cook this way think it’s a dumb name and have said that “molecular gastronomy is dead.”

3. Frozen food. Flash-freezing is to molecular gastronomy as flame-broiling is to Burger King. El Bulli was the first restaurant to experiment with quickly freezing the outside of various foods, sometimes leaving a liquid center, using a volatile set-up involving a bowl of liquid nitrogen dubbed the TeppanNitro. Later, Alinea’s Achatz began using an appliance called the Anti-Griddle, whose metal surface freezes rather than cooks.

4. Spherification. Also known as ravioli (not the kind you eat with marinara sauce), spheres are what you get when you mix liquid food with sodium alginate, then dunk it in a bath of calcium chloride. A sphere looks and feels like caviar, with a thin membrane that pops in your mouth, expunging a liquid center. Popular experiments from the chefs above have included ravioli made from purées of things like mangoes and peas.

5. Meat glue. One of the greatest hits of the movement has been Wylie Dufresne’s “shrimp noodles,” which, as the name states, are noodles made of shrimp meat. They were created using transglutaminase, or meat glue, as it’s known in wd-50’s kitchen, a substance that binds different proteins together and is more familiarly used in mass-produced foods like chicken nuggets.

6. Froth. You probably know about foams, which are sauces that have been turned into froth using a whipped cream canister and sometimes lecithin as a stabilizer. They were invented at El Bulli, along with similar “airs” made with an immersion blender. Despite hitting the mainstream, they’ve refused to die.

7. Eat the document. Arguably the biggest gee-whiz innovation in the genre has been the edible menus by Homaro Cantu of Moto. Using an ink-jet printer adapted for inks made from fruit and vegetables, and paper made of soybean and potato starch, he has created menus that taste like everything from sushi to steak.

8. Bacon on the line. Alinea’s multicourse tasting menu often includes a crispy piece of bacon decorated with butterscotch and dehydrated apple, served threaded on a horizontal wire. The famous dish exemplifies Alinea’s use of creative serveware, and molecular gastronomy’s enthusiasm for dehydrators and savory-sweet combinations in general.

9. You’ll never eat there. Although you may want to dine at the pioneering Spanish restaurant that launched this movement, you’ll be slightly more likely to win the lottery or get struck by lightning than to get a reservation at El Bulli. It’s open only from April to September, and there are a mere 8,000 spots. Over 300,000 people attempt to get one each year.

10. You may never want to eat there. Some dishes created at molecular gastronomy restaurants have not been good ideas—for example, rack of lamb with banana consommé, a “cocktail” of dehydrated powdered rum and cola-flavored Pop Rocks, lamb encrusted with crushed Altoids, and chili-cheese nachos for dessert, made of sweet corn chips, kiwi salsa, and mango sorbet.

Blogs and Websites dedicated to Molecular Gastronomy:

Khymos
Restaurants that make foam
Movable Feast
Wikipedia
wd-50 review
more food pics

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Thirteen Favourite Villains on Law and Order

I was converted to Law and Order ensembles fairly late. A lot of my friends were into the show, but I just didn't get grabbed. At first. I started watching well into it's run...in August and Sept 2001. I remember because I just got back to Toronto from Vancouver and didn't have a job. In the day the show was playing about 6 times on various channels. It managed to distract me from my precarious financial situation while job hunting Snerk. Then...9/11 happened. I used to be a major news junkie and I continued as one till about December then realized I was very stressed out so I stopped watching the news and reading news papers. I was always very sensitive about media and publics prejudices about others religions and customs...but I found it almost intolerable after 9/11. The racism and shoddy ideas people had about Muslims escalated back then...I was a big fan of Edward Said and his books fighting the misconceptions of Islamic countries and customs. Edward Wadie Saïd November 1935 – 25 September 2003) was a Palestinian American literary theorist, cultural critic, political activist, and an outspoken advocate for a Palestinian state. He was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and is regarded as a founding figure in postcolonial theory. He wrote the book Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World.

I started getting news form friend or co-workers. I liked it better delivered through friendly visits. I still basically follow news events by Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and blogs and friends phoning me when someone famous dies or a disaster strikes.

Law and Order is my Sherlock Holmes/Columbo escape...I like to see the bad guys get caught. Of course, though,...that doesn't always happen on the program...but I like watching people with strong moral imperatives trying to catch all the sick fucks in the world. I find myself fascinated with the human condition and deep character study on this program, especially the intense scrutiny on Criminal Intent. I love Bobby Goren! "Just one more thing..."

Top Villains:

2) January Jones, she was just introduced a couple weeks ago...and got away with her crime, hopefully to return. January Jones has also been in We Are Marshall and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.

3) Stephen Colbert. He is very good as a forger.

4) Ludacris, plays Ice-T's step-son. Sort of.

5) Andrew McCarthy. Okay, he was in a couple of great iconic 80's movies and he struts his stuff a few times on this series, within different versions of the ensembles.

6) Mandy Pantinkin. Very bad man. Tricky.

7) Larry Miller. The first tiem he is on Law and Order he gets away with killing his wife. Well, if he doesn't do it again and the detectives are very glad for a second chance to get this guy.

8) Martin Short. Well sort of a bad guy. He plays a psychic. He's very good.

9) Roy Schrieder. This must have been his last role. He was powerful in Criminal Intent as a incarcerated killer. R.I.P. He went off to a bigger boat.

10) Chad Lowe plays a tragic killer in a super creepy episode with Margot Kidder. (Okay...she is actually the villian in this one...)

11) Amanda Peet is almost unrecognizable once her character switches from preppy to deadly. I had a whole new respect for acting after I saw this episode.

12) Robert Vaughn plays a controlling denial-swinging granpa.

13) Michael O'Keefe. I love Michael O'Keefe...he is in one of my favourite movies The Great Santini he has had a couple of roles on Law and Order as a priest and as a Irish mobster.



Number One Favourite Villain is Olivia d'Abo playing a recurring role as Nicole Wallace a dead eyed and doe eyed serial killer. Olivia d'Abo's fate as a recurring villain was once held in the balance by a phone-in poll. An overwhelming majority of fans voiced their desire for her to get away again. She did a voice in The Animatrix and she is married to early Madonna songwriting collaborator Patrick Leonard. She is in four episodes of Criminal Intent and makes an off-screen killing in a fifth episode. d'Abo is also a folk singer.


Visitors who leave a comment will be linked here: 1) Nichtszusagen 2) Tennessee Text Wrestling 3) The Gal Herself 4) Wandering Coyote 5) Mister Anchovy 6) A Gentleman's Domain 7) Tinkerbell 8) From A Lofty Perch

No More Old Boys Club! Even If It Looks Like A Woman!

Thanks to Fond of Snape for highlighting the following quote from Snopes (I recommend checking out this urban legends debunking web page) and for her awesome reaction to Barack Obama's speech the other day!


As for the (subjective) issue of whether a church with an 8,600-member black congregation that espouses a “Black Value System” and urges commitment to the “Black Community,” the “Black Family,” and “the Black Work Ethic” is a church that is dutifully attending to the needs of its congregation, or one that is advocating a form of separatism or racism, Chicago Sun-Times journalist Monroe Anderson tackled that subject in a piece about TUCC back in March 2007:

If a white presidential candidate’s church had a similar statement and “you substitute the word white for black, there would be an outrage in this country,” [Sean] Hannity -preached. “There would be cries of racism in this country.”

True and Catch-22. If a white church plainly and proudly pronounced its whiteness, Hannity, [Tucker] Carlson and company would be right. But if it was the Holy Trinity Polish Church on Chicago’s North Side, proclaiming its Polishness, who’d care? [EXACTLY!!!] This is how African Americans find ourselves in a trick bag. We’re defined racially even when we’re acting like any other of this nation’s ethnic groups. Issues knee-jerkily become black and white when in reality they may be African American and Irish American. Or Serbian American and African American.


-The controversial Barack Obama March 18, 2008, speech in it's entirety here.
-An urban legend...claiming Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Why would people spread a rumor that an African American Christian politician was a Muslim?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Self-portrait...A Day In The Life...




A few years ago my friend Anita spent an entire day with me...she was completely exhausted and I said...this is a pretty average day for me...this video is not far from capturing time spent with me. The only thing missing is the studio although in the first clip...Deana and Marc are over and I am playing back some videos from documentary for them and Stagg, having dinner and drinks and juggling travel plans.You can hear them and the videos while I am talking on the phone. Ha, I suppose if it weren't for the bus rides and such I rarely sit still...Stagg says I am constantly multi-tasking...

Some photos of the people I met in Asheville during this trip.
The mail parcel I refer to while talking to Gardenia on the phone...and her blog called From A Lofty Perch
The first phone call I am talking to Shad, at Nice Marmot.

Not Since Martin Luther King, Jr.- Barack Obama Shines Historical and Cultural Importance of African American Church

"We the people, in order to form a more perfect union."

Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.

The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation's original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.

Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution - a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.

And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part - through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk - to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.

This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign - to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together - unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction - towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.

This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story.

I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton's Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I've gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world's poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners - an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

It's a story that hasn't made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts - that out of many, we are truly one.

Throughout the first year of this campaign, against all predictions to the contrary, we saw how hungry the American people were for this message of unity. Despite the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, we won commanding victories in states with some of the whitest populations in the country. In South Carolina, where the Confederate Flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of African Americans and white Americans.

This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign. At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either "too black" or "not black enough." We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. The press has scoured every exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well.

And yet, it has only been in the last couple of weeks that the discussion of race in this campaign has taken a particularly divisive turn.

On one end of the spectrum, we've heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it's based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap. On the other end, we've heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely - just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

As such, Reverend Wright's comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems - two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way

But the truth is, that isn't all that I know of the man. The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God's work here on Earth - by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

In my first book, Dreams From My Father, I described the experience of my first service at Trinity:

"People began to shout, to rise from their seats and clap and cry out, a forceful wind carrying the reverend's voice up into the rafters….And in that single note - hope! - I heard something else; at the foot of that cross, inside the thousands of churches across the city, I imagined the stories of ordinary black people merging with the stories of David and Goliath, Moses and Pharaoh, the Christians in the lion's den, Ezekiel's field of dry bones. Those stories - of survival, and freedom, and hope - became our story, my story; the blood that had spilled was our blood, the tears our tears; until this black church, on this bright day, seemed once more a vessel carrying the story of a people into future generations and into a larger world. Our trials and triumphs became at once unique and universal, black and more than black; in chronicling our journey, the stories and songs gave us a means to reclaim memories that we didn't need to feel shame about…memories that all people might study and cherish - and with which we could start to rebuild."

That has been my experience at Trinity. Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety - the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity's services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions - the good and the bad - of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable. I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias.

But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America - to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.

The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we've never really worked through - a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.

Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point. As William Faulkner once wrote, "The past isn't dead and buried. In fact, it isn't even past." We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven't fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today's black and white students.

Legalized discrimination - where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments - meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today's urban and rural communities.

A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one's family, contributed to the erosion of black families - a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods - parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement - all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us.

This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted. What's remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them.

But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn't make it - those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination. That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations - those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright's generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician's own failings.

And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright's sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.

In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they're concerned, no one's handed them anything, they've built it from scratch. They've worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren't always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.

Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze - a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns - this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.

This is where we are right now. It's a racial stalemate we've been stuck in for years. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naïve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy - particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own.

But I have asserted a firm conviction - a conviction rooted in my faith in God and my faith in the American people - that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice is we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union.

For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances - for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs - to the larger aspirations of all Americans -- the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives - by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.

Ironically, this quintessentially American - and yes, conservative - notion of self-help found frequent expression in Reverend Wright's sermons. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change.

The profound mistake of Reverend Wright's sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It's that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country - a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old -- is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know -- what we have seen - is that America can change. That is true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope - the audacity to hope - for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds - by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world's great religions demand - that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother's keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister's keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle - as we did in the OJ trial - or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright's sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she's playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we'll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, "Not this time." This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can't learn; that those kids who don't look like us are somebody else's problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

This time we want to talk about how the lines in the Emergency Room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care; who don't have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together.

This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life. This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn't look like you might take your job; it's that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should've been authorized and never should've been waged, and we want to talk about how we'll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.

I would not be running for President if I didn't believe with all my heart that this is what the vast majority of Americans want for this country. This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected. And today, whenever I find myself feeling doubtful or cynical about this possibility, what gives me the most hope is the next generation - the young people whose attitudes and beliefs and openness to change have already made history in this election.

There is one story in particularly that I'd like to leave you with today - a story I told when I had the great honor of speaking on Dr. King's birthday at his home church, Ebenezer Baptist, in Atlanta.

There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organized for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. She had been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and one day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there.

And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer. And because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care. They had to file for bankruptcy, and that's when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.

She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. Because that was the cheapest way to eat.

She did this for a year until her mom got better, and she told everyone at the roundtable that the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help the millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents too.

Now Ashley might have made a different choice. Perhaps somebody told her along the way that the source of her mother's problems were blacks who were on welfare and too lazy to work, or Hispanics who were coming into the country illegally. But she didn't. She sought out allies in her fight against injustice.

Anyway, Ashley finishes her story and then goes around the room and asks everyone else why they're supporting the campaign. They all have different stories and reasons. Many bring up a specific issue. And finally they come to this elderly black man who's been sitting there quietly the entire time. And Ashley asks him why he's there. And he does not bring up a specific issue. He does not say health care or the economy. He does not say education or the war. He does not say that he was there because of Barack Obama. He simply says to everyone in the room, "I am here because of Ashley."

"I'm here because of Ashley." By itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man is not enough. It is not enough to give health care to the sick, or jobs to the jobless, or education to our children.

But it is where we start. It is where our union grows stronger. And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the two-hundred and twenty one years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia, that is where the perfection begins

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pink Hat

Spring Cleaning and Lucha Libre With Emilio Charles.


Well, I am too busy to blog because spring cleaning...yep...I just emptied my kitchen cupboards, wiped them down and then laid brown kraft paper and returned the food...also includes cleaning up and editing the computer.

We really haven't been able to do much the past couple weeks because there wasn't any space left on computer...had to delete some music, some movies just in order to do anything...including adding external hard drive. I was in the middle of editing some film footage and downloading the Mexican Wrestling a few weeks ago when the gravity of the situation hit home...so today I managed to upload a couple of videos.

Emilio Charles Jr.
Real name Sergio Emilio Charles Garduño
Nicknames El Rey del "Beautiful" (The King of Beautiful)
Name history Emilio Charles Jr. (Professional wrestling debut: - )
Family Emilio Charles (father), Terrible (son)
Trained by: Diablo Velasco, Abuelo Carrillo
Birth date October 12, 1956 - Monterrey, Nuevo León
Professional wrestling debut: February 1980 - Arena Jalisco - Guadalajara, Jalisco
Height 5'9"/176 cms
Weight 196 lbs/89 kg
Signature moves Flying Splash, Lariat, Flying Dropkick, La Silla, Huracarrana
Wrestling Title s: Distrito Federal Heavyweight Wrestling Title , NWA World Middleweight Wrestling Title (2), National Trios Wrestling Titles (with Vulcano & Tony Arce), National Middleweight Wrestling Title , CMLL World Middleweight Wrestling Title , CMLL World Tag Team Wrestling Titles (with Dr. Wagner Jr.), CMLL World Trios Wrestling Titles (2, with Sangre Chicana & Bestia Salvaje - Los Chacales -, with Satánico & Rey Bucanero).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Art Criminal Intent


From an episode titled "Art"...

(Goren and Eames are gazing at a Monet)
Eames: It's beautiful.
Goren: Yeah...Impressionists are too pretty.
Alex Eames: Right. You probably like those sweaty, naked people in the next room.
Robert Goren: Lucien Freud. As a matter of fact, I do.
Alex Eames: You can't put that stuff in your home. You can't live with it.
Robert Goren: Well, I'm not interested in living with it. I'm interested in... thinking about it.

Water Lily Pond With Weeping Willow, 1919. Claude Monet.

Girl With White Dog,, 1952. Lucien Freud.

Six Days

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Four Dinners YouTube Page


I love this video almost as much as I love Four Dinners...and I had no idea he had a YouTube page. Hey...Four Dinners, I like your cabinet with stickers on it...reminds me of one of Mister Anchovy's old apartment he had a similar cabinet with stickers...Stagg has a cabinet at work with stickers too, some kind of guy thing I guess. This makes me feel like we are hanging out...I've popped a beer and a toast to blog pals!

Lara Flynn Boyle?


I watched this entire episode tonight wondering when Lara Flynn Boyle (Twin Peaks, Red Rock West) was going to show up ...the show was in it's last few minutes when I realized that WAS Lara Flynn Boyle.


I keep saying I am going to do a Thursday Thirteen with my top favourite villans of Law and Order...maybe today...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Special Mail...


In the middle of doing massive spring cleaning...I realized I might post a pic of some great gifts we got in the mail. From Red and Asterisk...the two drink coasters (and cool dvd recordings)...Stagg uses the penguins and I use the hamsters, right beside our beds. Below the coasters is a mitt that was MADE by Karen and sent...you can't really see the fabulous pink as our scanner doesn't pick up flourescent tones. But these pirate mitts rock, and I wore them a lot this freezing cold LONG winter...

Thanks so much guys we feel so lucky to have such great blog pals...and we were thinking a lot about you today when we were dusting and sorting out stuff around the joint...

Now...I must get back to shaking out floor cloths, dusting behind radiators and on top of doors...it's SPRING!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Iggy Pop- Ray of Light


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is one of the best award shows. It's especially ncredible because often the various musicians will be itching to play and by the end of the program they all get on stage.

I would really love to spend a week at the museum going through their film archives. We are thinking of going to Cleveland to the museum in June. Check the following footage of Prince, George Harrison, Tom Petty playing My Guitar Gently Weeps. The second part of the video has Prince solo. (And last night Ben Harper gave a very sweet speech honouring Little Walter and then he joined the James Cotton Band to play some Little Walter riffs.)



Hey for Martha...here is the Leonard Cohen section of last nights ceremony:



I think this has been recorded from a handy cam on the tv which is hilarious but also why it's so foggy...but it is a great montage with some voice overs...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Congratualtions Madonna!


Courtney Love, Tina Turner and Madonna, Rolling Stone, 1997 cover of 30th anniversary featuring "Women of Rock".

Madonna will be indicted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame today...and usually the artists perform after a special introduction (Justin Timberlake is introducing her). Instead, Iggy Pop is going to perform covers of a couple of her songs...should be fun! Other inductees this year are John Mellancamp, Leonard Cohen, Dave Clark Five.

Pop who is the lead vocal of The Stooges, has been known to be Madonna's opening act at the Dublin date during her Reinvention Tour in 2004. He reportedly has agreed to perform the punked up versions of her hits as a tribute. Meanwhile, both The Stooges and Madonna are Detroit natives.

Madonna is inducted to the Hall for her 25 years of contribution to music industry. She first signed to a major deal in 1982 when she was made an artist under Sire Records. She will on April 19, release her eleventh studio album titled "Hard Candy" via Warner Bros. "The album title is a juxtaposition of tough and sweetness...kind of like I'm gonna kick your ass but it's going to make you feel good. And of course, I love candy," Madonna said of her new record.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

A Little of This and A Little of That


I love Kathy Griffth, she makes me laugh almost the whole time she is talking...the cover of this magazine caught my eyes in the line up at Whole Foods a couple weeks ago...
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Some movies watched lately and ratings out of ten:

American Gangster, 10. We bought a three disc set, and went right for the extended version. Fantastic.
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, 10. I reviewed this film two years ago here and was excited o watch it again...it is such a good movie!
V is For Vendetta, 9.
Superman Returns, 9.
Bernard and Doris, 9. (an HBO movie starring Ralph Fienes and Susan Sarandon, very good friendship story)
Hollywoodland, 8.
Dreamgirls, 8.
Blood Diamond, 10. Stagg also gives a 10.
Snakes on a Plane, 0. I didn't make it through the whole thing. Shit if I can't watch your movie and give it at least a 5...you know you've really screwed up.
The Devil Wears Prada, 7. If this had more plot or character development, with a tiny bit more humour it would have been perfect. Seen it twice and felt same way both times.
Chinatown, 10. Seen this a million times, came uninterupted on cable so we watched it for the experience...never gets old this movie. In fact...like Hitchcock movies I always learn or see something enw each re-visit.
Swimming Pool, 8. Very good movie starring the gorgeous Charlotte Rampling. Slow...but but still interesting. Not for everyone. Artsy's need only apply.
Poseiden, 5. I didn't think it was possible to lose with this movie. I watched it, I am a disaster ensemble cast fan...but it was just okay.
Children of Men, 10. Loved this one. Stagg also gives it 10.
16 Blocks, 6.5. This was fun. Just a little less chemistry than I hoped for...but I enjoyed it.
Mr. Brooks, 10. I loved this...it may not be a fast paced suspense film, but Kevin Costner is back! I loved the whole thing and whole premise.
Diehard 4, 10. Listen, I love Bruce and I love Diehard...so I can not review with out my bias.
To Catch A Thief, 10. Again a movie I've seen a million times, came on cable so Stagg and I watched it together. It's fun for me to see all Hitchcock movies with Stagg for the first time and discuss.
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Remember when I was saying in a review of the XXX porn film Pirates some friends had recommended it to me...well here is one of those friends. This is David and this his Facebook profile photo right now...he came to Madonna in Chicago a couple years with us...and here he is with, I believe, Jesse Jane...I love this photo!
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I am within two weeks of hitting 1,000 posts. I am not sure how I will celebrate...I was thinking of linking posts with my favourite comments.
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This collage shows a guitar wire...and lookie! It's handmade in the U.S.A. We couldn't believe it, we were picking up some stuff at wonderful music store where handmade is still sometimes a point of pride!
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We went to see our friends band The Adornments last night, the place was full and the bands were great. They even scored a gig playing a benefit in May!
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The computer is full...when we bought it I asked if we needed an external harddrive...no said the sales rep...most people hardly use all the features of a Mac. We were going to go buy an external hard drive today...butslept in, so we started deleting all kinds of things like music files and some of the movies I was working on...because we can't even burn a cd or load YouTube right now. It seems we might need to not only buy an external hard drive but also another computer...hmmm...how aboutthat lovely wafer thin Mac laptop, yummy...
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SPIN Magazine's 100 Greatest Albums, 1985-2005.
1. OK Computer, Radiohead 1997
2. It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Public Enemy 1988
3. Nevermind, Nirvana 1991
4. Slanted and Enchanted, Pavement 1992
5. The Queen Is Dead, The Smiths 1986
6. Surfer Rosa, The Pixies 1988
7. 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul 1989
8. Sign O the Times, Prince 1987
9. Rid of Me, PJ Harvey 1993
10. Straight Outta Compton, NWA 1988
11. Achtung Baby, U2 1991
12. Paul's Boutique, Beastie Boys 1989
13. New Day Rising, Husker Du 1985
14. Daydream Nation, Sonic Youth 1988
15. Exile in Guyville, Liz Phair 1993
16. Odelay, Beck 1996
17. Illmatic, Nas 1994
18. Appetite for Destruction, Guns n Roses 1987
19. Live Through This, Hole 1994
20. Enter the Wu Tang Clan (36 Chambers), Wu-Tang Clan 1993
21. Fear of a Black Planet, Public Enemy 1990
22. Loveless, My Bloody Valentine 1991
23. Stankonia, Outkast 2000
24. Dig Me Out, Sleater-Kinney 1997
25. The Downward Spiral, Nine Inch Nails 1994
26. Post, Bjork 1995
27. The Head on the Door, The Cure 1985
28. Definitely, Maybe Oasis 1994
29. 13 Songs, Fugazi 1989
30. Ready to Die, Notorious BIG 1994
31. You're Living All Over Me, Dionsaur Jr 1987
32. Tim, The Replacements 1985
33. AmeriKKKas Most Wanted, Ice Cube 1990
34. Either/Or, Elliott Smith 1997
35. The Chronic, Dr Dre 1992
36. Doolittle, The Pixies 1989
37. Bee, Thousand Guided by Voices 1994
38. The Low End Theory, A Tribe Called Quest 1991
39. Lucinda Williams, Lucinda Williams 1988
40. Raising Hell, Run DMC 1986
41. Siamese Dream, Smashing Pumpkins 1993
42. Nothing's Shocking, Jane's Addiction 1988
43. Criminal Minded, Boogie Down Productions 1987
44. Dookie, Green Day 1994
45. College Dropout, Kanye West 2004
46. This Nation's Saving Grace, The Fall 1985
47. Paid in Full, Eric B & Rakim 1987
48. Kid A, Radiohead 2000
49. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill 1998
50. Low Life, New Order 1985
51. In Utero, Nirvana 1993
52. Licensed to Ill, Beastie Boys 1986
53. The Battle of Los Angeles, Rage Against the Machine 1999
54. Last Splash, The Breeders 1993
55. Dig Your Own Hole, The Chemical Brothers 1997
56. To Bring You My Love, PJ Harvey 1995
57. White Blood Cells, The White Stripes 2001
58. Master of Puppets, Metallica 1986
59. The Lonesome Crowded West, Modest Mouse 1997
60. De La Soul Is Dead, De La Soul 1991
61. Pinkerton, Weezer 1996
62. Supa Dupa Fly, Missy Elliott 1997
63. Crooked Rain Crooked Rain, Pavement 1994
64. The Marshal Mathers LP, Eminem 2000
65. Remedy Basement Jaxx 1999
66. Aquemini, Outkast 1998
67. Reign in Blood, Slayer 1986
68. Maxiquaye, Tricky 1995
69. Entroducing DJ Shadow, DJ Shadow 1996
70. The Blueprint, Jay Z 2001
71. Psychocandy, The Jesus and Mary Chain 1985
72. Only Built 4 Cuban, Linx Raekwon 1995
73. Different Class, Pulp 1995
74. Dummy, Portishead 1994
75. Le Tigre, Le Tigre 1999
76. If You're Feeling Sinister, Belle and Sebastian 1997
77. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco 2002
78. The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses 1989
79. Everything Is Wrong, Moby 1995
80. Voodoo, D'Angelo 2000
81. Mellow Gold ,Beck 1994
82. Grace, Jeff Buckley 1994
83. Relationship of Command At the Drive-In 2000
84. Superunknown, Soundgarden 1994
85. Automatic for the People, REM 1992
86. Up on the Sun, Meat Puppets 1985
87. Parklife, Blur 1994
88. Emperor Tomato Ketchup, Stereolab 1996
89. Fever to Tell, Yeah Yeah Yeahs 2003
90. Sister, Sonic Youth 1987
91. Skylarking, XTC 1986
92. Atomizer, Big Black 1986
93. Ten, Pearl Jam 1991
94. Spiderland, Slint 1991
95. Elastica, Elastica 1995
96. Rum, Sodomy & the Lash, The Pogues 1985
97. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel 1998
98. When I Was Born for the 7th Time, Cornershop 1997
99. Gentlemen Afghan Whigs 1993
100. Is This It, The Strokes 2001
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Asterisk had asked me about an article in SPIN magazine about Avenged Sevenfold...but all I could find was this photo above...I wonder if that is the article? Sorry, *, this was all I found and at their website they seemed to say onlya photo "op" in SPIN...