Saturday, July 30, 2005
Take me while ya got me.
It has been flippin' too much today. I'm gonna look for that great story-teller voice that is just aching to come out and tell today's events in an enthralling way (if not, I just may start another post I won't ever finish or I may just decide to bore you another way).
But I wanna hit - real briefly - on two small, peripheral points. One, it was kind of cool to see my boy, superboymodel Johan Khalilian (remarkably, I think I misspelled his name) on the cover of the RedEye today. I say "kind of" because:
1) the RedEye sucks big time. It's the equivalent of saying, not only can't our children read, but neither can adults ages 18-35. So let's give them an alternative paper (This one being published and produced by Tribune Company, which gives us The Chicago Tribune, WGN, half of the WB "network", and the Chicago Cubs.) that's really only a daily US Magazine with a farm league sports section.
2) the way they cover the story about grown-up virgins /celibates (the article apparently either doesn't know that last word exists or doesn't want to risk assuming that its readership does). I think the topic is good and it needs to have some light shed on it. It says that there are some of us still out there. (Hey, if you're 30 and still haven't gotten any, you're either extremely antisocial or serious about the business of celibacy.) The problem is, the focus (again, because of projected images of readership) was on the beautiful virgins (Huh?? They exist?), and was way too short to address the issue with any clarity or depth. Which is bad enough in a regular newspaper (especially Red State / Blue State qualifiers like the NY Times), but this is a rag which delivers the cover story in a two page spread where 1/2 of it is dedicated to photos and another chunk is given to seriously unrelated - read, garbage - sidebars. As much as I want to see The 40 Year Old Virgin later this year, it has nothing to do with a worldview of purity in sexual relationships. Neither, shocker, does Brittney.
Also, got a chance to shortly meet JR from the Cross Movement crew today. One thing I know is, if he hangs out with CM, he's got his head straight. But joe can sing, and produce. He's engaged, ladies, so sorry. (Of course, I'm still available and I ain't got all that baggage.) But he's dropping his latest in Oct.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Timi put me up to this. I still love you, sis.
Ten years ago: I was just starting college. And I was working part-time and I was paying out of pocket and saving money like crazy. Course it was a community college.
Five years ago: I think that's when I took a year off from school to decide my next major. Yeeeaaah, English Education!
One year ago: I was broke. Bum broke. Only ocassionally working. My friends were helping me out. But I was also getting ready to go to a terrific urban sports camp (KAA, you know!) with my brother, my good friend AJ (Happy Birfday, AJ!) and several loveable rugrats, two of whom are in Haiti this week. I love my rugrats. Oh, and I started working full-time for the church as an interim youth director.
Yesterday: We celebrated AJ's birthday. AJ likes to think of herself as a spy. That's ok, 'cuz we do too. For this surprise party, her roommates and best friends devised a fun little spy romp, where they'd leave little clues that lead to one another and lead to evidence (such as random pirate noises, etc.) that I had kidnapped them (hence, the Pirate Kidnapper text some of y'all got yesterday) and brought them downtwon to a factory (Cheesecake Factory, where the cheesecake is both really expensive and really rich. Honestly, I didn't eat dinner like everybody else did, and still I couldn't finish my slice. Course I had some burgers 'fore we left. But that was 5 hours before the cheesecake. And I, like Timi, LOOOOVE cheesecake!) where she could 'Declare our Independence' - meaning in the John Hancock building. She actually got the Cheesecake Factory reference, but somehow missed the Declaration of Independence reference, so she started looking for another room of some sort. Tracked her down like an animal. Lot of fun.
Today: Woke up before the alarm.
Tomorrow: Is Thursday. Baby steps, baby steps.
5 snacks I enjoy: Technically, not snacks: Cheesecake, Ice Cream, Doritos, Cookies, Frappaccinos. (I'm gonna be diabetic and lactose intolerant, I swear.)
5 bands that I know the lyrics of most of their songs:
Not all of the lyrics to songs, but a lot of them, and not all bands but, U2, Switchfoot, dc Talk (Sooo much shame!), Fred Hammond, Stevie Wonder & Cross Movement. 6, so what? They're all incomplete!
Stryper, eat your heart out!
5 things I would do with $100,000,000:
1) Get out of debt
2) Take care of my family
3) Buy a home
4) Use 20,000,000 to donate to World Vision, some other charities I believe in (KAA, Inner City Impact, my church). And yes, I do tithe now.
5) Start a company. It's the best way to get people work.
*This is all contingent on taxation. I'm figuring that I'll still owe the gov half even if I donate one-third and start a company with most of the rest. Now, if I started a corporation...
5 locations I’d like to runaway to: Hawaii. OK, I haven't the foggiest. I'm planning on going south in a few weeks in a rental car, so, we'll see.
5 bad habits I have:
1) Touch my hair.
2) Touch my face (oily skin I've got, can't be touching no face).
3) My bedroom's a super-duper mess and I always put it off.
4) I watch way too much late night tv.
5 things I like doing:
3) Having mixed intelligent/goofy conversations
4) Having someone make me laugh
5) Figuring things out (I'm pretty slow)
5 things I would never wear:
3) Hot pants
4) halter tops
5) tattoos (I'm too beautiful to blemish my skin with ink)
Yes, the last three were Timi's, but they're applicable.
5 TV shows I like:
3) Conan O'Brien
4) Buffy (It's been awhile, though. Don't laugh, it's got some of the finest writing, period.)
5) The Office *
5 movies I like:
1) Napoleon Dynamite
2) Hoop Dreams
3) Star Wars IV
4) Star Wars V
5 famous people I’d like to meet:
They're dead. And they're the same ones others would say. And what would I say to them? "Wanna play me?"
5 biggest joys at the moment:
1) Spending time with my youth kids.
2) Spending time with my friends.
3) Alone time.
5) Making someone laugh.
5 favorite toys: Toys? I can't afford toys!
I'm'a tag (and I know some are on hiatus and some ain't gonna want to do this, pero...) Adam Ant, Gabzilla, Alibabba, Destiny and - just for kicks - Micah, 'cuz he's bored out of his skull.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
But this is my favorite line of the week:
'it's also time the american people starting putting the u back into words like "colour"
language is constantly changing....'
Being mildly fascinated (paradox, I know) in linguistic history as well as an English teacher, I can attest that the responder is correct in that language is never static (For instance, double negatives were common in the English language - even in Shakespeare's time among the intelligentsia - until one brilliant man pointed out that double negatives in math equal positive equations, so therefore it should not work in language.) and, further, that there is no such thing as a correct English - besides what we confer as to being correct. But there is a huge difference between 'constantly' and 'radically' changing language.
The responder cannot, at will, change the meaning of words, basic punctuation, nor the function of syntax. There is no verb in that first sentence. Idiot.
Monday, July 25, 2005
welcome to canada
it's a maple leaf state,
canada, o canada,
people are nice here,
there's beef and stew
if you don't like it here
man, you sniff glue
the great white north
the kids say 'blah'
hosers say 'ah
it's not that bad.'
i want to be
where yaks can run free
where the royal mounties
can arrest me
let's go to canada
let's leave today
canada, o, canada
ay, s'il vous plait
they've got trees and mooses
and sled dogs
lots of lumber and lumberjacks
don't you think that it's kind of a drag
that you have to go in [?]
and get milk from a bag
they say "eh?" instead of
"what?" or "duh!"
that's the mighty power of canada
i want to be
where the lemmings run into the sea
where the marmasacks [editor: huh?]
can attack me
can you please
explain to me
how this all has come to be
we forgot to mention something here
did we say that william shatner is
a native citizen
and slurpees made from venison
that's here [?]
for ice cream?
Followed by a courtship?
how will i
will to do
what the few
choose to rule
of the mind
take two pills
& grow a spine
Friday, July 22, 2005
It occurs to me that, more than nearly any other sort of electric medium, the blogosphere (Or what I care to call the blogocosmos. Yes, you may borrow it. It'll satisfy my ego to no end to see that phrase everywhere in lights. And then I'll sue.) is such a place. It seems to fight against logic that blogs offer a respite for democratic civility, for 1) blogs revolve around the individual, rather than the communal and those that are set up for a sort of communal output - at least as far as the posts are concerned - do not tend to last long or be well-involved (cf. FurtherUP.blogspot.com) and 2) there are so many pages on the internet that those who carry a certain taste for a certain rhetorical polemical politicos can feasible feast solely on a staple of ideological ditto-heads.
Yet I see - and am involved in - several threads where maybe one person dissents to the small majority of faithful readers' opinion, holds up his or her own and is constantly rebutted by members of that online community in various opinions that belie as many differed opinions as shared. And in an atmosphere where the writer/replier can offer their opinion in the frame of several paragraphs while still holding interest of the reader/replier, the odds that intelligent dialogue is happening is greatly increased.
Contrast that to the endless gluttony of Rush Limbaugh or Al Franken fact- agreeants, whose diet is stable and malnourishing, at best. As a consequence, truth suffers for lack of vision. Although I am new to the blogging world, I have witnessed witnesses to democratic speech, people aware that others may not share their views and offer to share their own, usually in civility, with hopes of teaching and learning.
Maybe that sounds a bit myopic and severely naive. I've also seen environs of ridicule and meanness - the internet has long been infamous, for instance, as a place where violent and closet racists and child molesters can fester. But these are, by and large, places of anonymity, where one can enter and leave various chat rooms with a new identity intact and attached for each one, an electronic village of Sybils.
In order for bloggers to suffer our massive egos, on the other hand, anonymity must be kept at bay. We search other blogs not necessarily to find others that we may only agree with, but in search of friends - in the blogosphere and elsewhere, in search of people who can add to our blog as we do to theirs, usually out of joy, although sometimes out of boredom or sense of duty. Our identities, to a greater extent, certainly, stay intact with our personhood - or at the least, there is only one of each of us.
Add to that the newness of blogging itself. Although there are several veterans (veterans also being a relative term), an unscientific perusal finds that a good amount of bloggers are, like myself, neophytes, having done this for under a year. So, the blogocosmos is young, having just been spoken into existence. What we find, then, is a larger sense of community, a grouping of divergents coming together in defence of each other.
That thread of unity, however, may more quicky tear than we would desire. For disunity always starts somewhere, then feeds off itself until there is enough asexual reproduction to make any amoeba ashamed at its slowness. The cause, I believe, is not argumentation nor liberals nor conservatives. The cause, presumably, will not be over religious issues, but perhaps, over a false and pervasive religion that is spreading like a viral infection throughout at least the US - celebrity. (Who, after having seen Access Hollywood, E! Entertainment, or US Magazine can doubt the power of this strange cult of demigods?) Celebrities are now joining the tide and all reviews are heaving the thumbs down. Megalomania at its fiercist. What can Pamela Anderson offer the print and dialogical world? What possibly interesting tidbits of his life - that are not in his scripts - can Kevin Smith toss to his salivating fandom?
Real writers and journal-ists will not suffer more, will we? In order to take full advantage of our 15 minutes promised us by Andy Warhol, we will gladly rip the celeb-bloggers a new one. And in the process, the tearing of the fabric will begin and will not end.
Da- da -duhn!
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
But, while I'm waiting for my resumes to print (stupid printer, stupid printer), thought I'd bore y'all too...
Finally bought Five Iron Frenzy's last, The End Is Here. They used to be one of my favorite bands. But personally, I'm not big on ska. I think it's a fairly limited musical form. Which is why I don't listen to much hard music. (By the way, if you don't own Arcade Fire's Funeral, what the heck is wrong with you? Pick it up. I said, "NOW!"). Five Iron, however, is a good ska band, and some great songwriters, in the tradition of - though not quite there yet - of a Steve Taylor or Terry Taylor. If you don't know who these two people are, what the heck is wrong with you? All right, I'll provide the links later.
But FIF is socially conscious and funny and fairly probing, in social, personal, spiritual and political matters (which, I think, is the way it should be). "Kingdom of the Dinosaurs" shall live on, mis gentes! I do have one more thing to say about it, at this point (Like I'll do a review on it. Puh-leeze!). Can somebody introduce me to Leanor Ortega? I think I want to marry her, or at least ask her to remove the court order.
I also picked up Mary Mary's Mary Mary, if for no other reason than to obligate myself to write the name Mary several times in a row. Actually, to my ears, it seems they avoided the sophomore slump on this, their third album. I wish they had also avoided it on their sophomore album. But dang, some Stax-like soul burners, a couple big band influenced torchers. A couple softy songs (not one for 'em, but their main demographic is girls so, go figure). Warryn Campbell is a genius (so much so he married one of them before I got the chance to even propose), although his rapping skills leave a bit to be desired. I still wish they'd take advantage of the skills of some of the finest rappers out there (hello ManChild, Ambassador, Coffee, Freddy Bruno, Pigeon... no, no Pigeon John. Sorry baby. Loose cannon.) And the sisters can sang, period. Especially in gospel music, they will just flat embarrass poseurs like Beyonce. But don't take my word for it, buy it.
I'll put links in later.
Oh, and tomorrow's the big day. Fly or crash and burn. If I don't get some bites at the Chicago Public School county/job meet & greet fair, I'm moving to the country. Skraight up, y'all!
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
L.A. Symphony, apparently, is supposed to drop a fresh rec in Okt.
And apparently, getting a hold of Sufjan Steven's Illinois is hard to do - especially if you want a cover with Superman flying through Chicago (which I had always dreamed of) since DC Comics once again pulled out the cease and desist (just like they did for Capt. Marvel).
5 points for both the references of that quote.
Edit: And check out their radio interview/performance.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Liam "Schindler" Neeson.
And the best joke (sorry I couldn't find the link, but credit goes to Peter T. Chattaway) I've heard about this so far, "This would make at least three films this year that Neeson has either given someone a sword and/or taught them to use it."
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Friday, July 15, 2005
Pero, maybe I'll put some of them at Further Up & Further In, in a shrewd marketing campaign to draw people to that site (another one would be to pretty it up. But good things happen to those who wait.)
And for your reading pleasure:
like sweat that
the devil's back
OK, I won't pretend. I've yet to see Wings of Desire or any of his other films for that matter. But I loved the soundtrack for Until The End of the World, which inspired the Judas-kiss song of the same name by U2 and let us fans into their studio and minds months before they released Achtung Baby. It also gave us an acoustic peak at a song that T-Bone Burnett released on his brilliant and classic (but most likely out of stock) Criminal Under My Own Hat.
But he (Wimmy, that is) had some nice things to say in an interview recently about film and literature that I think are worth hearing (or reading). You can catch an abridged version here or you can go to the source (Again, my internet blocker's supersensitive spidey sense was tingling, so I didn't get a chance to read it yet). The gist of it, though, is that movies, like books and well yes, music, are best read between the spaces of the action and dialogue and happenings. The best stuff happens, he says, when you are allowed to "sneak in with your imagination, to dream on and to project your innermost hopes or fears or desires into what you see and thereby pushing it further." But of course, he says this in the negative, lamenting the passing of silent moments in the movie theaters.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
I volunteered to help a church that we sometimes attend (don't worry, steeplechasers. It's on Saturday nights. And I take along a group of teenagers. It's not infidelity. I stopped dating the church a long time ago.) run a concert on the block a few weeks ago. Got several of my youth (I'm a youth ministries director, kind of like a youth pastor without the skateboards I suppose.) to volunteer alongside. We were at a preliminary meeting for the volunteers when Pastor Phil warned us to be on our toes, because when the church is doing something right, the devil will pound. (Yes, I believe in demons. Not D&D type stuff. And I don't believe in them like I believe in God, but I believe that they're active, but not in some silly Stephen King way.)
He offered an example of when he had a speaking engagement at a church and the speakers blew out so he had to speak through a monitor. "And they had some ladies in the back," he ad-libs, "making cookies in an Easy-Bake oven."
"'Hold on! They'll be ready in just a minute. Mmmmh...' Baking by a light bulb."
(See, Destiny? It works better vocally, with the physical cues and all. Now I made all these people upset with me. Ahh, nothing new there.)
I'll edit in the rest of the story later.
So, on the day of the concert we come to help in the morning and things are pretty cool. The teens enjoy being a part of the whole process and one of them has their first leading-to-Jesus moment that she was really excited about. Some punks made me upset by constantly hitting on a couple of the girls, but they did a good job of keeping them at bay. It's at times like those, though, that I wish that urban youth would just man-up, and I could just give them a thumping and they wouldn't need to cry to their gangs about it. But, over all, it was good stuff.
We took our break, picked up and dropped-off some other teens and when we arrived, there was a dude with a megaphone yelling about how nobody wants to hear about a white Jesus. Being one of the only non-Blacks in attendance, I wanted to ask who presented this white Jesus that everyone is supposed to be worshiping. Apparently, some others were wondering the same thing too. "Why is he so racist? What's wrong with him?"
"The real Jesus wouldn't want us to die and go to jail!" Amen, although I recognized that as a flip on the old stand-by, "Jesus don't want you to die and go to hell!" So, again, who is positing this false gospel?
"They are kicking us out of the neighborhood to make room for the whites to move in." Huh? The expressway is at least two miles away. Downtown is a drive and a half. Bus service is, at best, shaky. There's no other whites around there. Who wants to move to Lawndale? And since when did Lawndale Community Church or any of its ministries work against the neighborhood and its residents? I know of few other churches so actively involved in their community.
And the kicker,
"How many of y'all got jobs?" A dozen or so hands go up, most of the others being youth or children. "Put your hands down! You're lying, 'cuz y'all ain't White and y'all ain't Mexican."
I dropped my jaw.
Why do I feel like I already wrote this story?
By the way, this qualifies as my upsetting reply moment. And you'd probably have to be me in order to understand why I was so upset. He meant well, I'm sure:
I don't know what's so bad about mega churches. Jesus attended a mega church in Jerusalem, didn't he? And then he met with his small group.
I don't attend a mega church (ours averages around 500), but I don't see how a church that's alive and gets people excited, and provides tons of ministry opportunities, and connects people in meaningful ways through small groups, can be bad!
Churches become big because they come up with ways that actually reaches people and touches them and if that draws them closer to Christ then that's just flat-out awesome.
And my reply:
First... I want to thank you for stopping by my little ego-drive today and for leaving a comment.
I appreciate your sincerity and judging by a quick glance at your blog, I can tell that that is what you are about, bringing God into the public, so-called "secular," arena.
I also agree, as I did in my post and as I do in my thought processes, that the good things (people getting connected to God and each other) that happen within the mega-church movement are in fact, good things. However, I also believe it's paramount to not confuse good results with good, Biblical, Spirit-filled processes.
First, on a historical note, the temple that Jesus attended in the early 1st Century was not by any means a Mega-Church. It was THE Temple. The only temple (cf. John 4:20-22). There was no market-driven strategy. There was no competition. People came simply because the Temple in Jerusalem was the Only place to worship the Only God. To suggest, however, that the Twelve were Christs' small group is to trivialize the awesome transformation and revolution happening in the relationships between Jesus, the masses, and his committed followers. Again, nothing against small groups; they are great and often life-transforming. But Jesus wasn't just meeting some guys over tea and fritos.
The times, however, are a-changing. And no one should negate that. When the times change, the Church should recognize its role in the environment. It should never lose a hold of its vision or purpose (Mtt. 28:18-20), to restore sight to the blind, give hope to the hopeless, shelter the homeless, protect the innocent, the fatherless, the widows, etc, but in the love of and from Jesus with an eye on eternity.
I'm not saying that mega-churches do not do that, but the focus is taken off Jesus and these commands and put onto the consummer. The seeker is the consummer and we must do whatever is necessary to get their attention, even if it means compromising the Gospel message and that which is considered offensive (picture a senior pastor of a mega-church getting up and saying that all congregants must drink this blood and eat this flesh to get into heaven. Not gonna happen in a consummer-driven church). Jesus knew he was going to be a stumbling block, that when he calls us, he calls us to die with him.
I cannot see Joel Osteen (OK, so I named one, and an easy target, but he is setting up a dangerous pattern) saying to all that would follow him that, "Foxes have holes and birds have nests in which to rest, but I don't even have a pillow or a box spring. I'm homeless." Or to another would-be attender who wants eternal life, "Sell everything you have to the poor and follow me." Or how about, "Hey, people are gonna hate me, what'd'ya know? I'm gonna die. And if you want any piece of what I'm about, you're gonna die too. So, yeah, come follow me."
The more I follow the life and teachings of Jesus, of course, the more I realize how short I fall on EVERY single issue. I have to look at my own complacency and laziness and definitely the fact that I want people to like me; I fear man more than God. But that shouldn't stop anyone for calling the Church to question.
And, just because a church is active and even theologically correct does not mean it is alive (cf. Rev. 2:1-7).
Hey, don't be a stranger,
So, yeah, you could tell I was itching for a fight. He didn't bring it, though.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
My first post is up, today (but it's under Adam's photo, which was put up the other day), as well as the funniest inaugural post I've ever read, done by mad-skills Adam. Although you may have to be versed in the evangelical subculture to understand it. And you may have to be versed in a whole mess of other stuff to grasp mine (like borderline insanity). But read it, people!
Anyway, I'll be posting there once a week, updating frequently, but always looking for critical feedback. Honestly, tell me what you think. I want to be able to publish (as in, print) some of this stuff.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Ever get that feeling that the world was at your fingertips, just ready to comply to your most secret, most base desires, especially if your desire was to see Celine Dion (the Queen of Pretentiousness) perform "Bad" by Michael Jackson (the Queen of Preteens).
The filthy part of this dream is that I can not, the raison d'etre has slipped through my grasp. I do not have the capabilities here at work to watch it. Quicktime is not downloaded here and it would be so much trouble trying to download it. But, if you have it and you watched that piece of cosmic genius and now you are just getting off your high, you might be able to - depending on the feasibility and expediency of lawyers - check out downloads from Live 8.
Thanks to lookingcloser.blogspot.com for nothing. For me. If you get 'em and love 'em, send 'em a note. Tell 'em I sent ya. And answer this question:
Monday, July 11, 2005
Anyway, that reminds me of the second question that I wanted to ask last post: What is the most ridiculous and /or funny pick-up line you ever heard or used? (Extra points to the lames who've used them.) Now, please be reminded that I've heard all the stand-bys (Too many gay bars around these parts!), so "Did it hurt...," "I must be dead...," and "I've lost my phone number, can I have yours," were at one time funny, but not anymore. I need new funny. Give us new funny!
A cleaned-up example my 'son' gave me the other day (I'm not known for being PC, but I am an educator and I'm trying to watch my mouth [er, fingers], so I gotta take it easy.): Both of your parents must be LD, because you sure are special.
Ok, it's funnier in the original, what can I say? The winner gets the first annual Barney Rubble's Daughter-In-Law Award.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
But considering that this blog gets so few hits - besides those Sociology Ph.D. candidates researching the infamous and nefarious 'No hollerback, girrrrrrrrrl/Bananas' song (Yet what they really got was a bad joke. Shhh, don't tell nobody!) - I thought that this might be a safe place for this assignment. I'm looking for the stupidest - read, funniest or most inane (or at least upsetting) - comment left on your blog. If you don't have a blog, you can quote from someone else's, but in either case, I need to see a tag, we need to be able to see your source. Let me explain this just a bit: By funny, I do not mean an inside joke. We all laugh at the inside jokes on our blogs and often at the inside jokes of someone else's conversations, but 1) there are too many, 2) they are not transferable. Two, if you need to, provide some context. Remember, a joke is all about deliverance on context. Set-up, pop. But if the said comment just irritated the mess out of you, we should also know why.
And in saying 'we', we are merely speaking of our readers and - mostly - ourselves.
The winner will be announced by this Friday and will receive 1) notoriety, 2) the Bananas Award via the ever-efficient and extraordinary USPS. (Please don't let it be Christine. Why, oh why do you have to live in another country?)
Friday, July 08, 2005
But, some archives:
One Day We Shall All Be Free. One of my first spoken words. And the first of its type to be performed.
Constructs. Ahh, for b-ball and bbq.
Phoenix. A little more typical one.
Mom I Need My Two Dollars! Speaks for itself, don't it?
Where We May Find the Space of Doubt was accidentally the beginning of Poetry Week.
More posts later. Keep warm. You are loved.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Ok, this is probably the easiest meme I've ever seen, in terms of questions. Answers? Now, that may be a different story. Unless you cheat.
Name your 5 favorite childhood memories:
1) Tasty Freeze
Ahhh, ice cream in the summer. When I think of how poor we were and cheap my father was (more on that later), I can't believe we ever went to Tasty Freeze (Actually, I don't remember if we did. Maybe I just went with my youth pastor in 6th grade.), let alone bought Breyers most the time. A tradition I continue to this day.
2) Chuck E. Cheese
We never went for my birthday, and I was too old to enjoy the ball room, but pizza & video games? All in the same place? Toy Story almost made me want to cry, watching it again.
3) 'Look at these.' (The punch-line of a girls' joke that i didn't understand was a girls' joke until much later.)
And, years later, I confound innocents the world over. Just not in the same way.
4) (You knew I was gonna say this one) Government cheese.
We honestly were dirt poor. In terms of strict economics, we were dirt farm poor. Thank God for WIC and government cheese and peanut butter. And coupons, lots and lots of 'em that my dad spent half his waking life saving, storing, counting and using. The devil gets the credit for powdered milk, though.
5) Michael Jackson. (I just deleted a joke, cuz it was too nasty and there's no way of doin' it w/o being nasty. But he was a hero, until that less-than-magical night when I went to camp Neverland and he....) 'Nuff said. No, I grew up loving pop music. All sorts of sentimental, schloppy, goofy, Tiffany, NKotB, Debbie Gibson, Madonna, Elvis, Beatles (early stuff), Chuck Berry, Lionel Richie, Little Richard, Prince, that song, "Lady in Red." Oh, and thanks for reminding, Timi, Bon Jovi. And Stryper. I spent an entire summer dropping quarters into 1944, The Battle Over Midway while Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" played in the background at the Pizza Hut. Never grew tired of that song. It was my soundtrack.
As far as who's next:
Pikachoo, I choose you!
Whoever switched over from www.lookingcloser.blogspot.com.
Whoever switched over from Micah's World.
Whoever switched over from the collective (Cee barnes, A-damm!, Ga-bee-NO, and !Timi-huh?!)
And last but not least (because she's the only real person) Destiny.
Hey, I see y'all! Don't try to hide. Ain't nowhere to hide, I'll track you down.
Monday, July 04, 2005
And we expected great things. For once in recent memory, the short parcel of land directly in front of the church would be green, and lush. We would have to mow it twice a week, it'd grow so large and lush and wonderfully green. We would match with many of the other properties in our respectable, residential neighborhood. We could begin working on that awful red metal box to the north of our converted office building, the old train box car that functions as both our weight room and eye-blight.
But, a remarkable thing happened. Or rather, didn't happen. Someone dropped the ball. I don't know who, I'm not sure why. The lawn was watered, but not often enough, and not long enough. All things may have worked out fine if we had received rains in early May. Or late May. Or June.
Total accumulation reached nary an inch, though.
By late June, early July, nearly all area grass is an ugly shade of brown. The local high school, which usually caresses a large parcel of land (by Chicago standards) in greenery, has been abdicated by Mother Nature. All that remains is a very shoddy of hay. I started having nightmares of Arizona. This afternoon I went to my brother's for the first time since March. I noted the lawn, which, for the most part, was green. He watered the lawn in front and back every day (at least every day they were in town), sometimes twice. But still, there were those patches of light brown dryness.
What I learned through this, however, is that the deeper the roots are, the more alive the plant is, the more of a chance it has to survive - for it can draw from more resources. I've learned that the work of rooting is hard and consistent work, but it is not fully dependent on the worker, it needs the help of the full environment. I've also learned that if those roots aren't in place, it can be easily lifted.
Obviously, I'm not just talking about sod here.
I've always felt separate. My auntie is full-blooded Puerto Rican, but she was raised in the US, in an English-speaking household. She never learned Spanish. But because she's so dark, when I was a child, I thought she was black. I also thought it a common thing. I figured that every family had people of different colors in their household, such as my dark brown grandma. My Korean and Turkish neighbors, my Greek and African-American and Jordanian and Mexican and Indian and Eastern Virginian and Guatemalan ("Watermelon?" I innocently asked.) classmates and playmates were all part of the cultural and colorful mix. I didn't understand why people were looking strangely at me as I walked with my disheveled, curly head (looking a good five inches larger than it should be) and white skin bedrocked by freckles to the right of Yvonne and her oblivious nervousness (an ordinary trait of hers). I just figured they were jealous.
I sometimes wonder if that's not the case. My exoticness is a license, I guess, to act a bit different, to be looked at and treated differently. It's only natural, though. A twitch of sorts in contemporary society, something of which everyone, including myself, is somewhat guilty of - self-consciously or not. And, although I don't feel exploited or treated wrong, general comments leave me feeling askew, whether they originate from a friend or no. I'm in or not because I'm not, or because I am.
But I think more often, I'm not.
It's been nearly twenty years since those of us with so little taste that we hung up their stickers all over our rooms, doors, garbage cans, clothes, folders, school work, little kin, etc. were actually reviled by the supreme lameness of the movie. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Movie was Orson Welles compared to this mess.
Trivia: Corey Feldman played the voice of Donatello in 2/3rds of the TMNT film trifecta.
Sunday, July 03, 2005
freeness, newness, ampersand
the way of a woman with a man
the way she touches the hands
the sweat drips brow, and
puruses fingertips to tend the land
finds merely solely the chasm
warm undue, warm too fast
rome's raided, sword in hand
Ok, It's a semi-joke. In that, this poem's definitely not done. It's in pre-production. But it is fairly real and true.