Friday, May 25, 2007

Um, There's Something Here...



There's a touch of truth we need to hear.....why ain't it elsewhere? So I go to check out Rosie's web site to see if she got material there to address this. And I find her with her girlfriends -- a god mother, or god sister or god cousin or something and they're all slaves to the video. And the thing is Rosie's beautiful. She's heavy and hangin' out with friends, dear friends. Here is Rosie who took herself from somewhere to nothing to somewhere to nothing again, and I am asking myself where is her make up.

Then, the next movie to click thru @ Rosie dot-com is her putting on make up. But she is putting on make up while singin' to Amy Winehouse's song about not wanting to go to rehab...no, no, no.

Rosie is beautiful, I think, now. Mainly, cuz she takes that cleanly clipped snot from the "V"iew and takes herself OUT, down a notch, sh*t, maybe she don't need nobody...'cept family, all them lady friends -- maybe only in her own mind only, Rosie's, that is...but ain't we all the only heros of our own docudramas, rock-u-mentaries...celeb my reality, Rosie, please. Call me. Can you?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007

Oakland Tribune


Came across this article on Frances D's Ghost Word -- not sure what to make of it...

It was a big deal for me to get to Oakland and get dedicated to the simple pleasure of the Tribune - the Reopening of Fenton's Creamery as a cover story, and stuff like that...

More though, the writer's coverage is real good, real Onion-like, funny and sweet. Like the Tribune.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The New Center

I was recently invited to sit on a panel for the African American Museum and Library of Oakland (AAMLO) to help them work through some "identity" issues as the Museum/Library is due to reopen later this year.

It seems like there is some infighting amongst AAMLO staff and volunteers. And, within my recent experience, that seems quite typical of most all non-profit organizations, especially community-based NFPs.

In hearing the conversation around some of their dilemmas about whether they are a museum or a library or an archive, I kept thinking of this great article I had read in a cafe in Boston when I was at the AAM national conference last year about a new library in London.

I will expand on this further, but for now I had to find the article, so I could share it with those who had invited me to participate in the panel.

Right now, I have too much on my plate to be any more a-part than having attended their first meeting two weeks ago. I will pass this along to them, then pick up this trail on this blog down the road...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Click-ish


Social networking on the innnernetz now reminds me of "social networking" in middle school. Maybe life reminds me of "social networking in middle school."

An on-line mathematician writes, "When I went to high school, everybody complained about the ``clique'', a group of friends who all hung around together and seemed to dominate everything social. Consider a graph whose vertices represent a set of people, with edges between any pair of people who are friends. Thus the clique in high school was in fact a clique in this friendship graph."


And there's that book -- All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten?!...Fulghum, a retired Unitarian minister, does not express uncommon thoughts here: his thoughts are those we all wish were true. The book's tone is set by the title piece, in which the author sets out his credo, ranging from "share everything" to "hold hands and stick together." (quoted from Amazon). Frankly, I think that what many people "learn in kindergarten," so to speak, is to be mean and click-ish

Thing is, a lot of what I learnt in kindergarten is that kids are mean. myspaze is a playground and, I have found, can be full of kiddiness (akin to truthiness). The other day, I got dumped.



I never should have opened a myspace account. I mean, OMG, I got dumped. I myspazed some guy from a around the block then put on just too much comment material when all he really wanted to do was connect with his girlfriend and other friends. I overcompensated in trying to make new friends. And he, rightfully, did not desire to have unwanted material from some guy he once talked with about Pavement clogging up his myspaze homepage.

So, using his myspace perogative -- he went back to "private" on me. I got dumped. I got dumped and it felt just like middle school. Alas, see you later, "Shaky Hands." See you around the neighborhood, but I won't see you in my myspaceneighborhood. I will still patronize your innernetz cafe. I will still say, "hi" around the 'hood... WHY? Because Everything that I Know I Learned from the Ballad of Billy Jack.

An on-line "Social Networking Theoritician" writes about BILLY JACK (1971) as follows - The movie "Billy Jack" has had a greater impact on who I am as a person than any movie I have ever seen. In 1971, at the age of 12 I was dealing with the divorce of my parents, the temptation of drugs and life in a violent and spiritually bankrupt home. I saw a trailer for a movie called "Billy Jack." The karate fight appealed to my budding sense of machismo, so I drug my little stepbrother to a matinee. Seeds of a deeper devotion to my Native-American ancestry (1/8 Cherokee), political activism, racial equality and a desire to take up karate (I never did) were planted as Tom Laughlin's independent blockbuster flashed across the screen.

SING WITH ME NOW:

Listen, children, to a story
That was written long ago,
'Bout a kingdom on a mountain
And the valley-folk below.

On the mountain was a treasure
Buried deep beneath the stone,
And the valley-people swore
They'd have it for their very own.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.

- One Tin Soldier (The Legend of Billy Jack)
by Lambert-Potter, sung by Coven

Not yet sure what all this means. But I sure do love that movie and that song. And I think they were popular when I was in kindergarten.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Gettin' Near Forty & My Boy's Almost ONE




The interesting and unexpected, thing is that gettin' all: father, Dad, being someone who's got a little somebody, is that you take a little more time asking, who you are? where you are? and what it means to be careening around the corner toward forty, forty?

Really Sorta Sad For Me


Historic Significance: Woodlawn, A National Register Property, was built in the first half of the 1800’s.

Threat: Development: Current plans call for the construction of a 74,000 sq. foot office building directly behind the National Register Property and the removal of all of its 200-year-old trees — the woods of Woodlawn.

According to the Maryland Historic Trust, "Woodlawn is a two-story, stuoccoed stone house constructed in the mid 19th century whose design reflects the transition between the Greek Revival and Italinate styles. Woodlawn derives significance from its architecture and from its association with Henry Howard Owings.

Architecturally, Woodlawn is unique in Howard County in representing the transition between Greek Revival and Italianate styles. Elements of the Greek Revival are embodied in the building’s square proportions, smooth stuccoed surface, and simple interior trim, while the central projecting bay and deep cornice reflect Italianate influence.

Woodlawn is also significant for its association with Henry Howard Owings, a prominent landowner and farmer. The property’s present appearance reflects the period of Owing’s occupancy in the 1850’s and 1860’s during which he served as Judge of the Orphan’s Court for Howard County."

We Are All Better For It


O.k. I think that maybe my friend James and his wife Charlotte are the two most beautiful people in the world.

It ain't jus' the way they look. It is jus' as much more who they are...and now they've brought a new life into being. No name yet.

They keep changing the name of their boy. So who knows what happens with the girl...right now their first's called "BIlly," which is a little confusing cuz our other now-London-based friend's named BIlly.

Here's what James reports:

Hello
Born May 3, 2007 at 9:25pm.
Name: Still deciding (!)
Both baby and mother healthy (and tired)
James/Charlotte/Billy
xxx

Check the Flash Animation, Kenneth



Uh, STFU, already...uh, French-sounding narrator...

Oh, it's the end of the world as we know it...it's the end of the world as we know it...it's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Horoscope



James's Daily Virgo Forecast

Quickie: Have faith that the worst is behind you, because it is. The future is very bright.
Overview: You're fed up with compromise. Making decisions by committee results in mediocrity. Let yourself go and trust in the process, and you'll find some unexpected delight. Go from moment to moment and everything will be fine.
Daily extended (by Astrology.com)
Being forgetful can sometimes be a blessing -- remember that the next time you're in a rush and you can't find your house keys or sunglasses. The same brain that makes you forget where you put something also lets you forget about hurtful episodes from your life -- eventually. The pain or sorrow you've felt recently is fading slowly, but it's fading surely. Have faith that the worst is behind you, because it is. Keep moving forward, and leave the past behind.

Not sure what this means, but I leave the internet to figure it out.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Where I'm From

I grew up in Columbia, MD. My family lived on a beautiful estate, really. It was weird sort of, because a lot of stuff was broke. And it all broke more all the time.

But I loved that house. So many things formed me there. And I look to them now, making me great in corners and highly flawed in pastures, feeling like some kind of rambling Capote kid from his first novel.

My dad sold the house after my mom died and moved to a townhouse in Rockville. The whole things sorta gone into disrepair since then with a series of quasi- and absentee owners. It's all real literary.

As a fundraiser now, I have come to know really rich people. And I don't think my folks were REALLY rich, but we lived on an estate. It was such an estate that there were "outhouses," including an ante bellum slave quarters. -- a Maryland that most folks'd dream to forget.

...all this in a dream town called Columbia that James Rouse designed in the 1960's. Now, Howard County residents are working to renovate and restore the building. My mother is buried in the cemetery outside of Columbia, nearby.

Below is a description of the restoration project from the Howard County Historical Society:

"The two-section, two-story structure is thought to date to the early 1700s, when it was part of the Woodlawn manor property. It is believed to be the oldest surviving slave quarters in Howard County."

And here is a link to the article in the Baltimore Sun about present restorations that are underway.


Here's a picture of men from Worcester Eisenbrandt Inc., a company specializing in historic restoration, at work on the "crumbling Woodlawn Slave Quarters in Columbia." (Sun photo by Christopher T. Assaf, Apr 4, 2007)

Mr. Michael "If it ain't me it's my wife who's in the New York Times" Chabon is from Columbia, MD, an' he's written a whole book about it, sort of.

"Mr. Chabon, 43 grew up in Columbia, Md., a newly formed community with a utopian flavor and very few people and houses. “It only existed on paper,” he explained, “but we had this map, a project map of how it was going to be. And then it came into being as we lived there. So I got really into this early on, that you could imagine a place and it would come into being.”


Here's a picture of Chabon in Alaska, where he has placed his "newly formed community with a utopian flavor." Now Michael Chabon and I live in the same town again -- Oakland, CA.