Archive for March 2007

Prediction: Manning will Join Five-Timers Club

March 25, 2007

With his outsized body, sweet goofy face, and fifty bazillion endorsements that air each week on television; I really didn’t doubt that Peyton would be a natural for hosting Saturday Night Live. I love it when Southerners host SNL. The combination has produced three of my favorite moments of the show:

With Dolly Parton:

Dolly Parton with her guitar talking with the SNL cast members sitting casually around her, joking and discussing her various career experiences.

Phil Hartman: Tell us a story about your hadrscrabble life growing up in the hills of Tennessee.

Dolly (dismissively): Don’t patronize me Phil.

With Garth Brooks:

Garth is dressed up as a woman to play an old French whore in a game show called “Old French Whore.” His character quotes French philosophy as she helps her john answer his questions.

Then last night with Peyton:

A commercial with Peyton mentoring children. Sitting on a park bench after throwing the football with them.

Peyton: I’ll kill a snitch. I’m not saying I have. I’m not saying I haven’t.

There were other moments, too. For some reason I thought the scene with Peyton as an actor filming a scene as a giant in 300 who never manages to throw his rock was hilarious. The coach trying to inspire his team at half-time by having them listen to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass’s Casino Royale was fun (Peyton’s geeky dance was even kind of hot in a weird way.).

Was he the best host? Probably not, but he’s so likable. I bet he took direction well and the pool of potential irony surrounding Peyton is bottomless. And irony is what keeps SNL going (for how long I wonder, but I’ve been wondering that for 20 years). I’d watch him again unless he turns out to be a Digot like his coach. If he keeps playing well I’ll bet we’ll get the chance.

BTW, where was Peyton’s wife, Ashleigh? Was she there? The rest of his family and inlaws were, and it was his birthday. Did I miss her?

Tony Dungy–Indiana’s Newest High Profile Bigot

March 22, 2007

Dungy got into bed with the Indiana Family Institute (note: whenever you see the words “family” and “institute” together, prepare to see some way ugly hate disguised as love). I have to admit, I expected more from him. I’m learning not to expect more nor be surprised by anything I hear. I’m glad to at least know that he’s not as thoughtful and caring as I thought he was.

From USA Today:

The Super Bowl-winning coach “embraced” the stance of an Indiana organization supporting an amendment to the state constitution that would ban gay marriages, and he added Tuesday night at a gathering of the Indiana Family Institute that he’s “on the Lord’s side.”

“We’re not trying to downgrade anyone else,” said Dungy, coach of the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts. “But we’re trying to promote the family — family values the Lord’s way,” Dungy said. “IFI is saying what the Lord says. You can take that and make your decision on which way you want to be.”

Wait, family values the Lord’s way? I thought that meant unconditional love, sacrifice, encouragment, provision, fruits of the spirit. I guess the 200,000 plus gay families with children in the U.S. don’t know anything about that. Not to mention the other hundreds of thousands of gay couples just trying to protect their relationships from organizations like Dungy’s new best friends–the Indiana Family Institute.

Nope, for the Focus on the Phallus crowd, it all comes down to genitals and nothing else. How base and ridiculous!

Sorry Tony. I don’t buy it, sincere as you may be, your position is nothing if not “downgrading” to me and my family. And it’s just one more reason why we’re getting out of here just as soon as we can. Thanks for the reminder.

Oh and by the way, Tony, where I come from, the “Lord’s Way” the Biblical way even, once meant holding slaves and other institutional ideas the Holy Spirit has since shown us are moral atrocities. You might want to keep the history books open.

O MY MOMA

March 21, 2007

In New York last week for a conference. Stopped by the Museum of Modern Art with Rosie who played along as I fooled with my camera and made her my model. As we looked, posed, and shot, she said it reminded her of Degas’ images of Cassatt. Obviously, no one will confuse me with Degas anytime soon, but we had fun. Not sure why the photo with Newman’s Broken Obelisk is so blurry.

Rosie (After Degas)

Degas Taking on Mary Cassatt

Rosie (After Degas) II

Degas Hanging out with Cassatt

Taking a picture of art at MOMA used to be like trying to snap a shot of the Pope in his undewear. The new user friendlier MOMA lets you shoot away as long as the work isn’t on loan. It is a much more laid back place than the old MOMA, and as a result we spent half a day there.

Love MOMA Style

I’m not normally a big fan of PDA’s, but this one seemed worth capturing. I like how the Calder works like mistletoe. And I love Yoshio Taniguchi’s building. It surrounds you with natural light and even city views without letting either upstage the art. More pictures of it later.

This Bill Viola video/sound installation felt like it was about life and time, birth/death (maybe). You walk into a dark, seemingly infinite room. The figures you see are upside down film projections of people falling into and floating in water. Their reflections are right side up in rectangular pools on the floor (can’t see them here). A soundtrack recorded under water put me into almost a meditative state until a body would suddenly splash into the water in one of the frames with the sound of a tidal wave. I always feel like I’m in a religious space when I view Viola’s work.

Bill Viola

I know that last shot isn’t great. There’s no way a still photo can capture Viola’s work, but I’m still proud that my camera took one that was even this clear. I have no idea what setting I used because it was so dark.

Gimme a Good Garage

March 13, 2007

florida.jpg

Pastor Mike and I flew to DC earlier this week to talk with economist and urban theorist Richard Florida (Rise of the Creative Class, Flight of the Creative Class) about ways places like churches and museums enable creative capacity in their communities.   Richard is on the right above.  We met at a  coffee shop north of Dupont Circle.  It was a non-smoking joint, but that didn’t stop them from serving Mike’s water in a Camel cup as we waited.  No better time for a fake smoke break.

Coffee Shop
 

Anyway, Richard’s’s creative economy research findings are revelatory. Though not always unexpected, they are frequently disturbing. Two things that caught my eye:  

  • Cities with a high creative index frequently have a high financial inequality index and a shortage of affordable housing (think San Francisco and Boston).  Some highly creative places,like Stockholm, have a better handle on the class divide problem. I need to know more about that. I wonder how much tickets to Sweden are?

  • Richard recognizes that all people are creative.  A community that empowers only those with financial means while ignoring those without them will pay a high social and economic price.     

Turns out Richard’s been asking some of the same questions that we have about the relationship between creativity and spirituality.  He feels he is still at the beginning stages of exploring the intersections, but one of his conclusions is that to expand their creative capacity people need choice about and access to resources for fulfilling their creative dreams as opposed to institutionally prescribed handouts.   

Mike and I were stunned at how Richard’s findings supported the direction Broadway (or the miracle on 29th Street as I’ve decided to call it) is headed with the Roving Listener, Animators of the Spirit and other projects.   

Richard was a LOT of fun. One of the most interesting pieces of advice he had?  Make sure there are plenty o’ garages handy.  He pointed out that the coolest things happen there—conversations, band formation.  He also noted that many of the most significant U.S. innovative companies started in garages (Apple, Disney).   

More to come…

(Sorry about the small pics, but I’m lucky to have them. I forgot my camera. Mike had his camera/phone with him.)

My Favorite Muncie, IN Salon Names

March 10, 2007

Busi-Bee Hair Designers (I love seeing “Busi-Bee” paired with the word “Designers.”)

Classique Cut and Style (The “french” spelling of “classic” is about as classy as the word “classy.”)

Cortex (I guess they were going for the “head” connection, even though hair doesn’t normally grow from the brain. Perhaps they should have settled for a less conceptual head reference, like “Eyeball”, a part of the head that can at least see hair and even has a little patch growing nearby.)

Cuttenup Barber Shop (I would prefer to see “Cuttenup” spelled with a “K,” but I’m not sure it could still be a barber shop then. Maybe a gay barbershop.)

Don’s Suburban Barber Shop (Muncie has suburbs?)

Hair Matterz (Fu shizzle)

Hot Heads (Kind of cute in a massage parlor sort of way.)

Salon Eclipxe (Some Ball State marketing major came up with this one. I gauren-bet ya nobody in Muncie who drives by this sign knows how “Eclipxe” is pronounced.)

Shaggy and Sheek Beauty Salon (Sounds like a dog salon. What does “sheek” even mean?)

Simply Red Hair Care (Niche marketing at its finest.)

Styles From Above (I never trust people who feel the need to have a religious reference in their business title. Makes me think they’re hiding something.)

Cream Cuts (For some reason this one makes me a little sick to my stomach. I should never have to wonder whether a place is a hair salon or a “meat and three.”)

Handing Chicks to a Fox

March 6, 2007

The gospel reading and part of Pastor Mike’s sermon on Sunday was about how Christ longed to gather Jerusalem’s prophet-stoning prone citizens like a flock of chicks beneath a hen’s wing (Luke 13:31-35). I’m sad as I see a part of Jesus’s would be flock shunned and scattered.

Two weeks ago Anglican primates around the world gave Episcopalians (U. S. Anglicans) until September 30 to stop blessing same-sex unions and appointing clergy who are gay or face being shut out of the Anglican Communion. Peter Akinola, Archbishop of Nigeria is leading the pack of foxes (to borrow an apt term of Christ’s) to threaten Episcopalians.

Surprisingly, the leader of the U. S. Episcopalian church, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, agreed to persuade U.S. members to roll back support of gay and lesbian members and clergy, even though she has been a strong supporter of their full inclusion in the past.

“My view hasn’t changed, but I’m called to be pastor to the whole church.” (Time-AP)

Bishop Schori, God love her, chooses to see the communiqué as an invitation to dialogue, even though it reads as an obvious threat and power play. I have a message for Bishop Schori: Show some Christ-likeness and grow a pair. You can do it now or do it later, and I understand the desire to maintain communion, but do it.

We are called to follow and imitate Christ. Abandoning part of your flock so that an institution remains in tact is far from what he was about. Jesus defended the defenseless before defending religious institutions, frequently at the latter’s expense. He, in fact, advocated leaving the flock and going after the lone sheep.

As you deliver part of Christ’s Church, even temporarily, as a hostage to Akinola and his band of religious thugs, you deliver your flock to foxes and wolves. I can’t imagine Christ doing the same.

Ironically, as much it pains me to admit it, Akinola and his bunch are also my fellow chicks, we’re probably all the prophet-stoning kind from Jerusalem that Jesus referred to in Luke. The Kingdom of God is so freakin’ complicated!

My Boy’s 38!

March 4, 2007

Baby John

See, John’s always been cute, inside and out. He was five when the riding lawn mower picture was taken with his Papaw. They were best buddies. He died before we had a chance to meet down here. (Sorry the pictures on the right are cropped. Don’t know why.)

While I was clubbing my poor sister with a pitching wedge, John was becoming an Eagle Scout. Tell me he ain’t workin’ that khaki. The quilted jacket is so hot.

Eagle scout

Happy birthday to the reason I have Lost in Love as one of my ringtones.