Thursday, August 31, 2006

I like this quote from Steve Carell:

"I think a character in a comedy should not know they're in a comedy."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Monday, August 28, 2006

If anyone knows how I can upload mini movies from a phone too, I would appreciate it....

Having always been obsessed with taking pictures I am enamored with images taken with cellphones. I am still wrapping my head around it. My sister (who is in town for the weekend from d.c.) and I took these images with her cellphone, a fancy slim razr phone. We (Me, Seema, Irene, Gabs, Atticus) went to the Bucktown Arts Fest and Greek Fest. Here are some photos from the whole weekend.

Thursday evening as we were driving home I was playing Magnetic Field's "Busby Berkeley Dreams" and Gabrielle asked me who Busby Berkeley was. It was one of those moments I love, describing big stages, and the context of Busby Berkeley dreams while the "Ahhhh" look came across her face.

The next day Atticus graduated from his classroom in daycare, the room he's been in since he was four months old. He's in the big kids room now. The big kid's room. I wanted to cry.

The moments were similar. I wish I had some big romantic saying about growth and life and it all but the "it all"-ness of it all makes me reconsider. A little while ago I asked if anyone remembered when they were first aware that they belonged to a community? Positive or negative...

I belong to a lot of communities now. Fathers. Cancer survivors. Lapsed Hindus (smirk). When I was still a teacher. We did a community exercise with the students led by our coordinator and my friend Al Ross. We asked all the students when they first remembered being part of a community. When you are with a group of students who are no longer at their public high schools and are stigmatized in various ways, it is a very important question. I suppose it is a very important question in any setting. We passed a stick around and asked if any could break it in two. About the second student it was passed to broke it with ease. Then we asked them top reach underneath their seats and pull out the sticks that were hidden there. We all passed them down when they were all together we bundled them with rope and again we passed around this now big stick of sticks and asked someone to break it. You can follow the rest of the path of the lesson.

When I was about 7 or so I was in the boy scouts and we had one of those gatherings together that made us all boy scouts of america. And I remember the big troop leader surrounded by kids all calling him by his first name so I went over and did the same. He stopped talking, looked straight at me and said you call me Mister __________. And I said, "yes sir" and went and sat down. I guess you could say that was the first time I was ever conscious of "community." As I have gotten older I have weaved in and out of many communities, ones that have embraced me with no questions asked. Ones that have really made me work for it. Ones that I had no choice in joining.

I saw part of Bill Moyers' special Faith and Reason on PBS recently. The segment I saw was with Richard Rodriguez, of whom I know little about, but I was struck by the following excerpt:


RICHARD RODRIGUEZ: What I discovered in that experience of being on that gurney is that I was able to face death. And I did not resist death. And I was liberated as I've never been liberated by any other experience in my life. I was free. There was regret to be leaving people I love. The thought of that was deeply painful to me. But, there was some other realization that I was free. I had been with dying people over the last 20 years.

BILL MOYERS: Mostly from AIDS.

RICHARD RODRIGUEZ: Mostly from AIDS. My closest friend died of ovarian cancer a few years ago. And I have recently helped my parents die. But, it is one thing to help someone else die. It is another thing when they put that little identifying bracelet on your wrist. And then you belong to a different nation. You belong to the nation of the wounded.

BILL MOYERS: The nation of the?

RICHARD RODRIGUEZ: The wounded. I had never experienced a broken body before. My body was-- I have a peasant's body which is reliable, not graceful but strong and I could take it for granted. And, suddenly, I was wounded. And suddenly, the doctor says to you after the operation, "It looks good," or something, "It looks promising. Come back in six months, and then again in six months, and then again in six months." And so far, it looks good.

But, I tell friends of mine, that I will always belong on the other side of the river now. I will always belong with the nation of the wounded because what I saw when I was there, is how easy it is to change one's place in this world, to change one's passport and to belong with them. When I see people who are injured or in wheelchairs now, or people who are obviously sick, I feel one of them now. Even though my body is apparently healed, I feel also psychologically wounded.


A little heavy, I know. I also belong to the community of the melancholic. So there.

I like it though, the communities, these spaces we inhabit. I am aware of them more clearly now. More than before. I hope it doesn't mean I am in the big kid's room now.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Does everyone remember the very first time they were conscious of being part of a community?

Long weekend.

My father is very sick, he is an amazingly strong human being in spirit but he is also tired - if everyone could send some love long distance his way it would be amazing.

Congratulations to Tybe Goldberg and Judd Franklin who as of Saturday are officially married. To the many who have even met them for a second you know that they have been married for much longer.

Millenium Park last night. Free concert with Anoushka Shankar and a pre-set by DJ Karsh Kale. Packed sandwiches and chips and water and blankets and headed out. So much fun. The chess pic at the bottom is from Michigan Ave where someone had set up a table with about 8 or 9 boards for people to come play each other. All the pics were taken with Irene's phone.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I am going to repost something, I hope you don't mind. I play this song often, aside form the fact that it appeals to my melancholic nature and that Nina Simone in general does....everytime I play it Gabrielle asks me if it is a man or a woman.

It plays at the beginning of John Malkovitch's directorial debut. Three men are in a car and it is obvious who the most important one, the leader is. This song plays on the radio with Nina's talking intro. One of the men asks, "Why does she talk?" The leader answers, "She is preparing to sing." It is a subtle, delicate moment as they drive off into the hills to essentially prepare.


Wednesday, October 19 2005

"The only song of mine that's been done by others is 'Who Knows Where The Time Goes,' which was recorded by Judy Collins and Nina Simone. In a way, I'm glad: it makes a song more personal when it's your own--although, own up, I was knocked out when they did that song!"
--Sandy Denny (Melody Maker, 15 May 1971, interview by Ray Coleman)

Last night we were driving home, me and the kids, and I was playing Nina Simone's version of Who Knows Where The Time Goes with the windows open. Gabrielle asked me if it was a man or woman singing and I said woman. She had asked me the same question two weeks earlier when I had played Antony and the Johnsons.

This song, it's a live recording from 1969 in New York, and Nina being Nina does this thorough introduction that is at once both rambling and melancholy and beautiful and I thought, that is why I love you. There is a blessed moment in the beginning of John Malkovitch's The Dancer Upstairs where three men are in a car driving into the mountains and this song is playing. The driver asks, as Nina wearily talks before the song, "Why does she talk?" And a man replies, "She is preparing to sing."

We are recording tonight and if this were a recording we'd be trying to do some things but actually I'm too tired to do. But as Faye Dunaway, I think it was, she said, when Bonnie and Clyde came out, she said she tried to give people what they wanted. That's a mistake, really, I know. You can't do everything, you use up everything you've got trying to give everybody what they want. But I will learn my lesson soon, and then you will buy more records, right, cause you're gonna see me. Let's see what we can do with this lovely, lovely thing that goes post all racial conflict and all kinds of conflict, it's a reflective tune. And sometime in your life you'll have occasion to say, what is this thing called time? You know what, what is that? The clock, you go to work by the clock, you get your martini in the afternoon by the clock, you drink your coffee by the clock, you have to get on the plane at a certain time, and it goes on and on and on. And time is a dictator, as we know it. Where does it go? What does it do? Most of all, is it alive? Is it a thing that we cannot touch and is alive? And then one day you look in a mirror, how old, and we say where did the time go? We leave you with that one.

-Nina Simone. Who Knows Where The Time Goes. Recording live session 1969 Oct. 26, New York, Philarmonic Hall

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Monday, August 07, 2006

my very favorite quote of the day about laura kightlinger

"a striking, tough-jawed beauty who carries her tall frame as if she’d purchased it at a height store and wished she could return it"

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The fruits and vegetables are from my parent's garden. I went home to see my dad today - he's pretty sick and maybe this is the thing about parents, he felt bad as did my mom about not having any food to serve me. It was almost a matter of pride, that they didn't food in the house for a guest. And after all these years I really understood it. I want to say it's an immigrant thing but I suppose it's not. It is very old school and I love that. I love that feeling of pride, does that make sense? This is our home....