Monthly Archives: August 2010

Some thoughts

  1. I’m holed up on the couch with some sorta flu. Watching JF host the Emmys is kinda helping, but not to the extent I expected. It might be his horrific spray tan.
  2. That movie, “The Town,” looks really good. Even though those people in nun still-life costumes are probably going to induce nightmares.
  3. Speaking of nuns, a psychic at the Ballard Farmer’s Market this weekend told me that my grandma and I were nuns in the same convent in a past life. A life in which I died at the age of 21. She claims this was in “France or Ireland” or some other country where I have no ancestors. She also told me a bunch of other stuff I think is horseshit.
  4. This post on Orangette makes me happy and drooly. Think I’ll need to whip up some berry cobbler before summer ends. The jam was clearly just a warm-up routine.
  5. I’m so fascinated by this Temple Grandin landslide at the Emmys that I went and added it to my Netflix queue. What an amazing woman who overcame so much to make such a difference in the lives of both people and animals. But couldn’t someone get her a stylist for Emmy night? I mean it was her birthday for G’s sake. You’d think just ONCE she could set aside the lesbian Roy Rogers get-up. I’m just sayin’.
  6. Claire Danes is awesome and I’m thrilled she won the Emmy for her portrayal of Temple. She’s one of my favorite actresses, not to mention style mavens. But my most favorite thing about Claire’s life might still be Hugh.

I’m just sayin’.

New tunes of goodness

Must share two of my favorite musical finds of 2010: The Features and The Like. (Apparently I got a thing for bands who include articles in their name).

The Features opened for Kings of Leon at the Gorge…Annesha and I both loved them after their first song! They’re sorta like KOL meets The Fratellis (another fave of mine). Here’s how fabulous they are live – excuse the random Bonnaroo hipsters and the slight boppity-bop-bopping of the DP:

And a super boogie-worthy song by The Like. I’m digging their whole retro Twiggy vibe, but again with the annoying hipsters! It’s like they cast this video by tagging people along Bedford Avenue. People like this actually exist!!! Over the top Alexa Chung-ness. Barf. But the song kicks it.

Dudes Who Rock Part II: Arthur Caliandro

Here’s where I manage to go from Chris Rock to a Reformed Church minister in 3.4 seconds. That, my friends, is called Embracing All Sides of Oneself.

First, let me clarify that I am not some super religious zealot out to preach the gospel to y’all. In fact, one of the things I love most about Arthur – and his former congregation, Marble Collegiate Church – is the lack of preachiness. I never became a member of Marble, but because of its warmth, openness, and acceptance of all people, I went to church more often during my four years in NYC than I had since leaving my parents’ jurisdiction (at least legally, if not geographically) at the age of 18. People of all races, religions, ethnicities, and sexual orientations flocked to Marble, were welcomed at Marble, were loved at Marble. Even Muslim and Sikh cab drivers would park along 29th Street and stop in to hear Arthur speak. It was a wonderful respite for so many people from a city that’s often cold and isolating. And Arthur was the center of it all. When he retired on February 1, 2009, I was buying my house in Seattle and was unable to attend his final service. I was so saddened by this, but was determined not to miss it, so I set my alarm for 8:00 a.m. (on a SUNDAY…yes, ME) and watched the entire thing via streaming video on my laptop. And filled an entire wastebasket at the Alexis Hotel with Kleenex. An ENTIRE wastebasket. Because this man’s words reached into my heart every. single. time. I knew I was going to miss his presence immensely – even if only virtually via streaming Sunday sermons.

When Arthur announced his retirement, the church elders sent a letter to everyone in their database, asking us to consider writing a letter to Arthur, telling him how he had touched our lives. I’d never met Arthur personally, but I knew I had to write to him. During that final service, he was presented with over 1,000 letters in a beautiful wooden box. Given that volume, I never expected to receive a personal response from him, but I did. Nearly nine months later, along with an explanation that he initially felt he couldn’t possibly reply to everyone who had written, but then knew it was something he had to do, because these people had taken the time to do the same for him. I was floored. And touched. And in awe yet again of someone who was such a powerful force in my healing during those years in lonely, bizarre NYC.

And with that, I turn him over to you so you can judge for yourself – make sure you listen to at least one of his sermons before you scroll through the “read” options. I think you’ll find he’s among the greatest storytellers of our time. Even if God isn’t really your thing, I hope you can look past those references to see the larger, more compassionate message in every word he delivers. The man is a wonder, he is a force, he is a dude who rocks.

  • Listen (scroll down to the bottom of the page for Arthur’s sermons…”Forgive and Move On” is one of my faves)
  • Read (so many good ones here from the last few years of his tenure at Marble – through January 2009)

Dudes Who Rock Part I: Chris Rock

His special, “Kill the Messenger,” was on the other night. OMG. I forgot how much I love this dude – he calls it like it is….and he ain’t apologizing. Laugh yourself silly.

I got an idear

Beware. While left to my own devices “on vacation” for three weeks, a LOT of ideas – some good, some harebrained – tend to brew. I’m not sure which category suits this latest brainstorm, but here goes nothin’.

Remember Show and Tell when you were a kid? And how FUN it was to bring something from home that you thought was super awesome – a new toy, a new gadget, your dead parakeet (I didn’t, but I thought about it…I know, very Wednesday Addams). I loved telling stories about things that meant something to me, and I also really grooved on hearing what made other kids tick. Having someone select an object and share why it means something to them is a wonderful way to get to know a person. People’s stuff speaks VOLUMES, especially when they tell you WHY it speaks volumes.

So what if there were Show and Tell parties for adults?! (Not THAT kind of Show and Tell – jeepers, get your noggin outta the gutter). For the most part, it’s just a theme party to give people an excuse to come over and drink, but it’s also a) a fantastic way to get to know them (especially new people, if there are folks at the party you haven’t met) and b) some people may bring some really awesome stuff that you might wanna get for yourself (like, say, if I brought my George Nelson bubble lamp….oooohhhh….ahhhh).

I got to thinking that this is sort of how The Moth’s storytelling series got started – people gathered and told a story based on a pre-determined theme. Now storytelling is rampant everywhere, most notably NPR.

I could be totally frazzle-brained from an entire day outside in the 104-degree heat of the desert. It’s also quite likely that, even if this is a good idea, come Monday, when I get all wrapped up in writing open enrollment materials for Puerto Rican manufacturing employees, any hope of executing on it will go AWOL. But I thought I’d throw it out there.

All in favor, say “I.”

Cute, smart, funny

Hell no, I ain’t talkin’ ’bout myself! ;-P

Rather, I’m referring to this cute, smart, funny video that Christy (aka CD) just sent me – from our Rififi pal, Jenny Slate and her beau, Dean Fleischer-Camp. Talented gal, that Ms. Slate. Even EW (!) thinks so.

As for me, Marcel just makes me feel all warm and googly inside.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Two Chicks strike out on their own

OK, I admit it – I’m quite the Dixie Chicks fan. I know that shocks all of you who think my allegiances lie only with grunge gods Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Soundgarden (or, along those lines, any bands involving Stone Gossard, Dave Grohl, or Chris Cornell), but there’s a little country in there with my rock-n-roll. So imagine my complete, utter, and total delight when I learned that two of the Chicks – sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison – started a band of their own, Court Yard Hounds. Their first single, “The Coast,” is beyond lovely….and is serving as my theme song for the Palm Springs solitary sojourn that begins tomorrow. Even if I’m off to The Desert instead of The Coast…the sentiment’s the same.

Enjoy. 🙂