Archive for January, 2010

Psyched beyond belief

January 16, 2010

Oh, my gosh — next Saturday. The date is set! Kidlet and I will be going to meet, for the first time in her little memory, with her father and his wife and their baby son. To say I am excited is to understate it: I know it is probably abnormal for a situation like this, but I am never one to be in the “in” crowd. I have literally longed for this day. I know it is more popular to be bitter or hard-hearted, but I thought and prayed on it for so long that I finally came to realize, “to what good end, sadness? only good will come of this, only the best things will come of this.”

And I am so pleased and pumped that he is doing so well in life, and that my daughter gets to newly encounter him at such a happy juncture for him, and it seems to me it must in large part be attributed not only to the opening of his own heart, but to, I can only conjecture and gladly so, that opening’s impetus: his awesome wife. She actually emailed me today, incredibly thoughtfully, inquiring after my daughter to see how she was handling these new upcoming changes. I was bowled over by that level of grace and thoughtfulness: it is what I told people I expected of her, having an incredibly high respect for her as an artist and as a faithful person of a true heart, but it was still so wonderful to experience it in person. I have mentioned before that she is a very successful musician in our area, and, I think, soon to be nationally. I can’t believe our children will be playing together in just seven short days. I truly look forward to this meeting. This is my daughter’s brother. That is amazing!

I am so proud of him, her father, for having the courage to make a change, and for deserving and committing to such a worthy, good woman. And I am so delighted that she and I will share this beautiful connection of our children being siblings. It’s honestly beyond anything I could ever have hoped or predicted just five years ago, when kidlet’s father and I essentially said what we probably naively and immaturely imagined to be our goodbyes. Of course, life went on, and of course, as both of us are honest and loving and decent people, if a little damaged each, that perceived goodbye could not stand and has not stood as any sort of final word, not with our dear kidlet’s sweetness in the balance. How could I keep him from that, from my end, and, from his side, why would he want to be away, and what sort of self-centered monster would begrudge him the desire for this reconciliation? I have known and expected this for a while now, since my own changes began, and it is better as it stands than I could have hoped. This is such an excellent coda, such a promising new beginning, that I can barely contain my gratefulness and happiness.

It’s everything I would have ever hoped and more. Such an auspicious and God-granted beautiful way to begin this New Year and new decade. And I also hope soon to feature kidlet’s brother’s mother, the wonderful woman I keep speaking so highly of, as a Music Moment, a special edition where I will actually get to interview the artist! — and one of her band members, I hope, too, my own little one’s father! — but only with her permission, and I will wait respectfully to broach that topic. This little journal is nothing compared to the success that awaits them. I am so excited for my kidlet, who loves music so well and has such a natural inclination toward it, to have already the luck and joy of being in their lives as they continue to develop their talent and, justly soon, I imagine, musical reknown. They bought her a toy guitar already, one which I examined after she asked for it and decided I sadly could not afford: amazing that she gets to have it through their generosity, I know that to her mind it was the one thing missing from a complete Christmas season. We are already talking about lessons and a real guitar to follow if that instrument is her interest. This is truly so incredible.

All I know is that I cannot wait til next weekend. It is a great new chapter of good fortune for me and for my daughter, and all I can do is give thanks.

A year ago I would have frozen in shock if someone told me that next week I would be meeting with my daughter’s father, his wife, and their newborn, but I have served my time for so long and prayed so well out my worries, and I am a wholly new person now. And all I am is purely thrilled. I look forward to this meeting with all my heart.

(all pictures from Lurve #2, Jennifer Pugh by Stacey Mark. “Halo,” Lurve #2, A/W 2009, via fashiongonerogue.)

Daily Batman: Art of the nude

January 16, 2010

“Batwoman,” by Albert Penot.

Movie Moment and Hot Man Bein’ Hot of the Day: Rik Mayall, Drop Dead Fred

January 16, 2010

Drop Dead Fred (Ate De Jong, 1991), featuring madcap redhead Rik Mayall, who makes it all better and doesn’t condescend to mollycoddle while he does it. I would be okay with him cutting my hair in my sleep, or wiping snot affectionately down my cheek.

I could use him, I think, right now … could definitely use him. Walking down memory lane watching this movie was like being repeatedly hit in the stomach with a club carved of ice. (Is that possible? Someone get back to me if it is.) Awesome. Check it out.

Elizabeth’s world has been turned upside down. Her marriage appears to be over following her discovery that he has cheated on her; but she simply can’t stop loving him. In her misery, her imaginary childhood friend Fred reappears, having been previously locked away from her.

Elizabeth stays with her mother; quite cold to Elizabeth, she intends to put Elizabeth back with Charles, but, in the meantime, makes her into a younger double of herself. Elizabeth works to get Charles back into her life, even turning up at a party (with Fred) that Charles is at. Despite part of Elizabeth being overjoyed at seeing Fred again and remembering their fun care-free times together, all he ever seems to do for Elizabeth is cause trouble.

Elizabeth returns to Charles and starts taking medication* to rid herself of Fred. It is only when taking the last pill that she realizes Charles hasn’t changed at all and that Fred is really the only person she can trust. Unfortunately, the only way she can truly [confront her mother and husband] and rid herself of her fears is to lose Fred for good by realizing she doesn’t need him any longer. (the imdb)

I’m a loner! I’m a crazy, wide-eyed loner on a doomed space mission to Venus to battle the three-headed mega-beast! But on the way back, I caught Cornflakes Disease.

Fred: Why don’t we harpoon Charles straight through the head, drag him back to the apartment, and hit him with a hammer until he agrees to come back?
Elizabeth: “Harpoon him through the head?” That won’t work, Fred.
Fred: Why not? How many times have you tried it?

Fred: I can’t believe we left the party so soon. And there was so much wine left to spit around the place!
Elizabeth: I got upset.
Fred: “I got upset.” God, you’re so stupid. You never leave a party until the very, very end.
Elizabeth: Oh, really?
Fred: Yeah, really!
Elizabeth: What about Cinderella? Remember what happened with her?
Fred: No, I don’t remember what happened “with her.” I deliberately forgot all about her. Uck. She made me puke. I remember the ugly stepsisters, though — they were great!

Young Elizabeth: Did they live happily ever after?
Polly: Of course, Elizabeth.
Young Elizabeth: How do you know?
Polly: Because, she was a good little girl. If she would have been naughty, then the Prince would’ve run away.
Young Elizabeth: What a pile of shit.

Wow [points up]. Cobwebs.

Snotface, look — ink! Let’s write something on the carpet. I know, how about “Mother sucks“?!

I don’t love you because love is for girls and girls are disgusting.

*On the subject of the medication, the best single-panel webcomic I have ever seen. Natalie Dee‘s take on Drop Dead Fred: (click to make it larger)

F’reals, Natalie Dee. You nailed it. To say nothing of the high risk of tardive dyskinesia with Haloperidol, making it a very unwise choice of antipsychotics to prescribe to someone under, say, 30. Total bullshit. (Why am I having déjà vu; I feel like I was just rambling about this to someone recently — Jonohs? Panda? Miss D …? ) Anyway, to wrap up, an in-costume off-set picture by the crafts table:

Like all ladies, I am a sucker for stubble. Unlike most ladies, I brake for suspenders and striped pants, as well.

Awesome! Final picture of perfection via the rocketman. Thanks, buddy — this picture, the hair, and Mayall’s hapless expression kind of made my day.

(All screencaps via Samantha, aka timed, on the lj. Huge thanks for the fun and beautiful pictures. The ice stomach club is nothing to do with your great screencaps. Thank you!)

Haiti Appeal from gifted photographers

January 16, 2010

A group has formed called the Charity Print Auctions Pool on the flickr, and they have a really great and creative idea for raising money to donate to the Red Cross to be used in Haiti relief efforts.

Created by Andy(Shotage) aka Andy Newson on the flickr.

Andrew Newson, the group’s creator, explains:

I created this today, a group dedicated to photographer print sales to raise money for the Haiti Earthquake appeal.

Each photographer donates a print at whatever size they wish and people bid on the image in the comments.

Photograph by Heather Powazek Champ, a flickr employee and gifted photographer. Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco.

The auction will finish at midnight on Sunday 17 January 2010, unless the photographer specifies otherwise on the image. So who ever has the highest bid in the comments, gets the print.

“Wait a sec …” by photgrapher Ingo Meckmann of Connecticut.

When the bidder wins the print, they will head over to the Red Cross and donate the bid amount. They will also take a screen grab of the payment/donation confirmation screen to send to the photographer. On receipt of that, the photographer will arrange for the print to be made and have it posted to you.

So, go and check out the group and get bidding on the image you want on your wall.

There are some really, really extraordinary photographs in this group, some from professional photographers who have agreed to participate.

Photograph by Ineke Kamps, a painter and photographer whose book It’s Oh So Quiet: A photographic journey through vacant rooms was recently published.

Low-res version of “The Full Monty” photographed by Anna Nguyen aka ZeeAnna! on the flickr. Winning bidder will receive a high-res print.

“The Funambulist,” by Arup/অরূপ on the flickr. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Dr. King’s Day: Movie Moment — Do the Right Thing

January 15, 2010

Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989).

Do the Right Thing culminates in terrific racial violence in the Bedford-Stuyvesant Park part of Brooklyn, New York. After the film ends, two quotes, one from Dr. King, and one from Malcolm X, are presented along with a still iconic image of them shaking hands. The quotes advance two different philosophies for accomplishing an agenda of social change.

Dr. King’s quote is, “Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.” (This quote mainly comes from his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize lecture, except for the “everybody blind” part.)

This picture is shown throughout the film and at the closing.

Malcolm X’s quote is, “I think there are plenty of good people in America, but there are also plenty of bad people in America and the bad ones are the ones who seem to have all the power and be in these positions to block things that you and I need. Because this is the situation, you and I have to preserve the right to do what is necessary to bring an end to that situation, and it doesn’t mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don’t even call it violence when it’s self-defense, I call it intelligence.”

The Obamas saw this movie on their first date and stayed up all night debating the events in the movie, using the quotes as a launchpad.

(All screencaps made possible by the awesome-possum buses on the lj. Huge thanks!)

Dr. King’s Day: The Measures of Man

January 15, 2010

What is man, and how do we judge him, if we judge at all? How do we judge and measure ourselves?

Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny. He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives. He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy. (The Measures of Man, 1959)

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. (Strength to Love, 1963)

I often find myself backing down from a fight to avoid conflict, or holding my tongue when I disagree with an opinion. But I need to stop. Not in an aggressive way, but in a way that is faithful to myself and my value system. Speak out. Be the champion of your beliefs.

Dr. King’s Day: The right time is always now

January 15, 2010

I think very often we have an impulse to become involved at a community or even larger level in bettering the world around us, but we think we have too many obligations already. Maybe even with good intentions, we bow out because we are concerned we could not follow through with the commitment, or we get cowed thinking that we will not have enough time to give.

“The time is always right to do what’s right.” (Address at Oberlin College, October 22, 1964.)

However much time or material goods you have to give, that is the right amount. If it lessens as time goes by, that is okay; if you find down the line you have more to give, then that is right, too. It begins by starting. I know this is something I need to think more about. I know this is something I need to work on: stop talking and start doing, stop worrying about the future and act in the present. In fact, I think I feel a resolution coming on…

E’s third resolution of 2010: The right time is always now.

The time to put in to deed all my plans and dreams, and lay aside my worries and anxieties, is always right now. Right now.

Dr. King’s Day: Darkness and Light

January 15, 2010

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation. (Strength to Love, 1963)

Dr. King’s Day: the 1964 Nobel Prize acceptance speech

January 15, 2010

Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Stockholm, Sweden, December 11, 1964.

Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence.

Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation.

Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.

Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

Dr. King’s Day: Trek connection

January 15, 2010

“Uhura” comes from the Swahili word “uhuru,” which means freedom.

via Gorgeous Black Women right here on the wordpress.

Nichelle Nichols played Uhura (Swahili for “freedom”) on Star Trek. Nichols planned on leaving the role after her first season but was persuaded by Martin Luther King Jr. to stay. Dr. King felt like her character was a great role model for the African-American community. (source)

Dr. King’s Day: Keep Moving From This Mountain

January 15, 2010

“Keep Moving From This Mountain.” Sermon at Temple Israel, Hollywood, California. February 25, 1965.

Each of us lives in two realms, the within and the without. The within of our lives is somehow found in the realm of ends, the without in the realm of means. The within of our lives, the bottom — that realm of spiritual ends expressed in art, literature, morals, and religion for which at best we live. The without of our lives is that realm of instrumentalities, techniques, mechanisms by which we live.

Now the great temptation of life and the great tragedy of life is that so often we allow the without of our lives to absorb the within of our lives. The great tragedy of life is that too often we allow the means by which we live to outdistance the ends for which we live.

We must move on to that mountain which says in substance, “What doth it profit a man to gain the whole world of means — airplanes, televisions, electric lights — and lose the end: the soul?”

You are not your job. You are not your possessions.

Dr. King’s Day: Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day

January 15, 2010

Madison, Wisconsin via The Madison Graffiti Project right here on the wordpress.

Dr. King’s Day: Strength to Love

January 15, 2010

Strength to Love was published in 1963. It is a compendium of Dr. King’s sermons on peace, nonviolent protest, activism, and love.

The strong man holds in a living blend strongly marked opposites. The idealists are usually not realistic, and the realists are not usually idealistic. The militant are not generally known to be passive, nor the passive to be militant. Seldom are the humble self-assertive, or the self-assertive humble. But life at its best is a creative synthesis of opposites in fruitful harmony. The philosopher Hegel said that truth is found neither in the thesis nor the antithesis, but in the emergent synthesis which reconciles the two.

Jesus recognized the need for blending opposites. He knew that his disciples would face a difficult and hostile world, where they would confront the recalcitrance of political officials and the intransigence of the protectors of the old order. He knew that they would meet cold and arrogant men whose hearts had been hardened by the long winter of traditionalism. … And he gave them a formula for action, “Be ye therefore as wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” … We must combine the toughness of the serpent with the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.

As the first volume of sermons by an African American preacher widely available to a white audience, Strength to Love was a landmark work. His fusion of Christian teachings and social consciousness remains in print and continues to promote King’s vision of love as a potent social and political force for change, the efficacy of religious faith in surmounting evil, and the vital need for true human integration. This volume brought to the forefront King’s identity as a compelling, well educated, and compassionate preacher at a time when many whites knew him only as a civil rights leader. (“Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Global Freedom Struggle,” Stanford University Civil Rights encyclopedia.)

Dr. King’s Day

January 15, 2010

All Dr. King, all day. Starting now.

If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a utopian dreamer that never came down to Earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie, and love has no meaning.

December 5, 1955, the first MIA Meeting, at the Holt Street Baptist Church.

Daily Batman: Tough times

January 14, 2010

You know we’re all screwed when Bruce Wayne is washing windows. I certainly am.

But seriously, kudos to the window-washer with the cajones and sense of humor to dress up like Batman on the job. Love It!

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Lerts.

January 14, 2010

Chichester, England.

Movie Moment: Per mi amica, Condra edition — Grey Gardens

January 14, 2010

Happy birthday, Mme Condra, and many glad returns!

Grey Gardens (Hovde, Maysles, Maysles, and Meyer, 1975).

This is the best thing to wear for today, you understand. Because I don’t like women in skirts and the best thing is to wear pantyhose or some pants under a short skirt, I think. Then you have the pants under the skirt and then you can pull the stockings up over the pants underneath the skirt. And you can always take off the skirt and use it as a cape. So I think this is the best costume for today.

“The Libra husband is not an easy man to please. The monotony of domesticity is not to his liking, but he is a passionate man, and a respecter of tradition. … He is a born judge, and no other zodiacal type can order his life with so much wisdom.” God! That’s all I need — order! That’s all I need! An ordered life! You know, a manager. But he’s got to be a Libran.

It’s very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present. You know what I mean? It’s awfully difficult.

In the film, it appears as though Lois Wright only gave a box to Edith Bouvier Beale for her birthday. However, she also gave Edith the sign that reads, “The Great Singer, Big Edith Bouvier Beale.” (the imdb)

He always compliments me on the way I do my corn.

— You can’t have your cake and eat it, too in this life.
— Oh, yes, I did! I did. I had my cake. Loved it, masticated it, chewed it and had everything I wanted.

Thank you for your card and your ice-cream, I love you very much!

All stills courtesy onsunset on the lj.

Art of the nude: Andre de Dienes

January 14, 2010

Photographs by Andre de Dienes.

Daily Batman: It happens — “Good grief” edition

January 13, 2010

Batman and Wonder Woman as Charlie Brown and Lucy Van Pelt by Chris Giarrusso.

Maybe that is so. But you can’t stop trying.

Welcome, porny people! Now how about lending that filthy hand to a good cause?

January 13, 2010

First off, thanks to the — as of this writing — over 6,400 people who’ve swung by the site today! Super-cool!* I see you are being linked by a site called My thanks again to you for your visits, and a tip of my hat to the fine folks at the site referring you here for the, erm, clever wordplay in their company title (“Pussy Galore” + “hot” en español, I imagine, right? get it? … it’s a decent enough pun; I give it a 60 but I can’t dance to it).

Dawn Richard, Miss May 1957. Photographed by Ed DeLong and David Sutton.

However, now that you’re here, and I’ve got these vintage cheesecake Playboy centerfolds helping me hold your attention, LeVar Burton’s** twitter and I would like to bend your ear a tick on this whole Haiti earthquake and subsequent increased housing and famine catastrophe. This article in the Miami Herald details legit relief organizations through which you can help with time, money, and food donations the displaced and surviving persons affected by yesterday’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, which is unfortunately only going to compound their existing problems as a developing nation.

Miss December 1959, Pat Sheehan. Photographed by Sam Wu.

Those are all fine and worthy causes if you give the list a genuine spin, but I sense that if you have landed here, you are probably impatient to get on with other things, and I empathize to a point with you on the whole “utter-lack-of-attention-span” thing. (Everyone blames MTV but I think it started with cereal box-backs, because I never had cable and I’ve an awful itchy trigger finger in almost every situation) Here is the super-fast-easy way to seal the deal:

Miss January 1957, June Blair. Photographed by Hal Adams.

In America, text the word “HAITI” to the number 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross. It will automatically come off your phone bill. How easy is that? $10 is not that much, and this is coming from an extremely broke person. So why don’t you take your hand off your dick (only for a moment, don’t worry — I’m not asking for miracles), fetch up the cell phone you’ve undoubtedly parked in your pocket, and take a second to donate even the low amount of $10 to the Red Cross’s special fund, through which, guaranteed, 100% of your donation goes to Haitian quake relief efforts. The playmates you are gawking at would be super, super impressed. That is why they are all in red: for the Red Cross. (Yes, I have so many playmate pictures saved that I was able to cull out a few scantily red-clad ones for just this entry — and even then I narrowed it to these, my faves.)

Miss March 1957, Sandra Edwards. Photographed by Peter Gowland, a dear patron saint. Right on!

I am not telling you how to live your life, just saying it is a quick and easy way to ease suffering while we comfortably enjoy and count ourselves lucky another carefree, nudie-pic-seeking day. Thanks for your time!

*As I said to the Gentleman earlier today, “I have supported the porn industry for years. It’s about time they returned the favor.”

**You’re darned-tootin’ I follow Geordi La Forge on the twitter. And I did not think it was possible he could be more of a nerd than I always imagined, but he is. He’s seen Avatar, like, five times. I almost stopped following him cause it was all he was on about for weeks. But I forgive him.