April rambling: Unbreaking America

Why Did the U.S. Government Pay for a Painting of Strawberries? Two-thirds of the paintings, in total, are by women. This wasn’t because women of the era liked to paint fruit.

No Room!
“Looking Backward,” drawn by the brilliant Austrian-born Joseph Ferdinand Keppler (February 1, 1838 – February 19, 1894) for Puck magazine, January 11, 1893

First image of a black hole revealed.

Slave Owners’ Names Are on Dorms at a SUNY School. That’s Changing. New Paltz is my undergraduate alma mater.

Why There’s So Little Left of the Early Internet.

Anderson Cooper speaks the “language of loss”.

Amy Biancolli: talking to the darkness.

“I Had Nothing”: How Parole Perpetuates a Cycle of Incarceration and Instability.

You Are Probably a Victim of the Largest Theft of All Time.

TEDx: we all should be feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Weekly Sift: Mueller by Gaslight.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: the sinister sides of World Wrestling Entertainment and the Mobile Home Industry.

Behind Bars, Co-Pays Are a Barrier to Basic Health Care.

The Death of an Adjunct Professor.

An aging population and a declining birthrate among the native-born population mean a shrinking workforce in many areas.

The Stephen Miller Presidency.

What an Empire Built on Nazi Collaboration Says About Our Economy.

Political Notebook: Politics last week and this week.

FTC Data Spotlight Shows Steep Rise in Complaints about Social Security Scams.

Unbreaking America: A NEW Short Film about Solving the Corruption Crisis.

New Zealand Parliament bans assault weapons.

“Men do not learn much from the lessons of history and that is the most important of all the lessons of history. “
– Aldous Huxley

The Persistence of Attachment.

What can an ice mummy teach us about heart disease?

Watch The World Turn.

The reason we bake at 350F.

5 Things to Do When You Have Too Many Ideas and Never Finish Anything.

Bless Your Heart doesn’t mean what you probably think it means.

Inside Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon’s Unconventional Marriage and ten minutes with Fosse.

Remembering William Goldman.

Re: Dwayne Wade: Now this is a proper sendoff

Minor League Baseball announces pace-of-play rules for 2019 and this is what Major League Baseball fandom looks like across the country.

Now I Know video: This Guy Tastes Ice Cream For a Living.

Now I Know: Who is Dr. Fill and why are these people afraid of him? and This idea to augment the postal service was a catastrophe and Why You Shouldn’t Carpool with Winnie the Pooh and especially Why Did the U.S. Government Pay for a Painting of Strawberries?

MUSIC

Religion – PJ Morton feat. Lecrae.

Faith – Business Casual.

Dead Boys -Sam Fender.

Live from New York, it’s Aubrey Logan.

Heaven Is a Place on Earth – KT Tunstall.

Video Killed The Radio Star – Walk off the Earth feat. Sarah Silverman

My Heart Will Go On – Big Daddy

Les chansons des roses – Morten Lauridsen.

You Get What You Give – Scary Pockets.

Africa – Robyn Adele Anderson.

Pencil Neck Geek – Don Blassie.

Coverville: 1257: A Cover Chain with Birthday Covers for Stan Ridgway, Katrina Leskanich, Norah Jones, Mandy Moore, and Brian Setzer

FUV ESSENTIALS: Richard Thompson.

Favorite stars in television and movies

Who is your favorite friend that you met in 1977 at a Halloween party in New Paltz?

Cate BlanchettThe evil Tom the Mayor, who I know from FantaCo wants to know: Who is your all-time favorite Movie Star, Male and Female, one only apiece? Also Favorite TV Stars, same rule, one apiece.

First off, the line between television and film has blurred tremendously. You find performers easily bouncing between the two media. But OK.

Movie star (male): after considering Mark Ruffalo and George Clooney, I ended up with Denzel Washington. He’s the actor who I’ve seen both early on and relatively recently: Cry Freedom (1987), Glory (1989); Mississippi Masala (1991); Malcolm X (1992); Philadelphia (1993); The Pelican Brief (1993); Crimson Tide (1995).

Also, Devil in a Blue Dress (1995); The Preacher’s Wife (1995); The Hurricane (1999); Remember the Titans (2000); The Manchurian Candidate (2004); Unstoppable (2010); and Fences (2016). There were two or three others I might have caught if I had had the time.

Movie star (female): ignoring Streep, for cause: Cate Blanchett, who often disappears into her roles. I’ve seen her in Oscar and Lucinda (1997); Elizabeth (1998); The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999); The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001); The Shipping News (2001); Notes on a Scandal (2006); Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007); Blue Jasmine (2013); Cinderella (2015); Carol (2015); and Ocean’s Eight (2018).

TV star (male): the late James Garner, who played two iconic roles, Bret Maverick in the western Maverick, and private detective Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files. He also became the father figure in 8 Simple Rules after John Ritter died and lasted longer – a couple seasons – than any show losing its protagonist normally would.

TV star (female): excluding Betty White, I’ll go with the late Mary Tyler Moore, who was Laura Petrie in the Dick Van Dyke Show, a series I have on DVD. Then she was Mary Richards on her eponymously-named show.

Huh, I answered a similar question almost nine years ago.

Another question, this from Judy: Who is your favorite friend that you met in 1977 at a Halloween party in New Paltz?

That was a REALLY long time ago. You don’t expect me to remember that far back, do you?

Valentine’s Day rambling: NECCO

Johnny McDaniel, worked over the years as a miner and milk truck driver, married and divorced Rodger’s mother three times and he loved music

necco.conversation-heartsThis being the middle of the month, I thought I’d do some linkage related to love. The first post,from Mark Evanier’s blog, he posted back in June 2018, but I saved it for this day.

Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin “are a splendid union of two very talented people who seem to know absolutely everyone in their profession, their profession being The Theatre. Here’s nine minutes of Jim and Steve singing about their relationship.”


Alumni couple celebrates 75 years of marriage
Dorothy Dever ’43 and Robert Dever ’43 met at SUNY New Paltz – my alma mater – as education students and were married on August 28, 1943, in East Rockaway, N.Y. They are now celebrating 75 years together.


Season 2 of the Love Letters Podcast: taking on a big, complicated, seemingly unanswerable question: How do you meet someone?


Things I loved about the Super Bowl: Gladys Knight’s performance of the national anthem. The NFL at 100 ad. The Democracy Dies in Darkness ad AND a response. What I didn’t love: the game.


Only one of the reasons I loved Frank Robinson, the first black manager in Major League Baseball, who died February 7: he was the Most Valuable Player in the National League in 1961, playing for the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds traded him away after the 1965 season. He was the Most Valuable Player in the American League in 1966, for the Baltimore Orioles.


Rent-a-sister: Coaxing Japan’s hikikomori men out of their bedrooms
Not only do these Japanese young men not date, sometimes they never leave their bedrooms.


This is about familial love: How A Long-Lost Guitar Was A Lesson In Grace And Forgiveness

“Rodger McDaniel was 21 years old when his father died. His dad, Johnny McDaniel, worked over the years as a miner and milk truck driver, married and divorced Rodger’s mother three times – and he loved music.”

As someone commented: “Those Story Corps folks have killed me almost every Friday morning for years. Don’t know why I even bother to wear mascara on Fridays.”


Finally, Chuck wrote: May as well cancel Valentine’s Day now

“The New England Confectionery Company – better known as Necco – went bankrupt last year, and their products and recipes were purchased by an Ohio-based candy company, Spangler, in the bankruptcy sale.

“And Spangler didn’t have enough time to produce enough candy hearts – with their ubiquitous messages of ‘LOVE YOU’ and ‘I DO’ and “CALL ME” and ‘BE MINE’ – in time for the 2019 Valentine’s Day season.

“Now this doesn’t mean that candy hearts won’t be around for the season – I understand two other companies, Sour Patch and Brach’s, will have candy hearts – but let’s face it. They’re not Necco hearts.”

Here’s a confession I don’t know that should make, especially living New England-adjacent. But here goes: I hate those NECCO candies. I think they taste like chalk. I’m so glad to get that off my chest.

LaMBS is 60

Lynn was one of my best friends in college, then we lost touch for a good long while.

When I was in college, I was co-editor of a thrice-weekly newsletter, inexplicably called the Wind Sun News, sponsored by the Student Government. They instituted this publication in no small measure because the editors of The Oracle, the student newspaper, decided that political issues such American involvement in overthrowing Chile’s Allende in favor of Pinochet was more important to cover than the prosaic issue of college governance.

I had a very good friend then, who I’ll call Lynn, mostly because it was her name. She had been kvetching about turning 20. It was a Wind Sun News night, when a bunch of us would work from 8 or 9 p.m. until around 2 a.m., and occasionally later. Normally, Lynn would be there, but her friend Pam convinced her to go out to dinner with her because she “needed” to talk to Lynn about her relationship with her boyfriend. Continue reading “LaMBS is 60”

Traipsing thru the theological wilderness

I mean chair-throwing disdain, and I had to referee at least a couple times.

This is a continuation of my own theological wilderness journey, which I wrote about here.

TV Guide.Aug 20 1977After I broke up with the Okie, I dropped out of college in December 1974, and lived for a semester in Binghamton, which I’ve mentioned, especially how my mom saved me from afar. I was a handful of blocks from the church I grew up in, yet I know I didn’t go there in the winter, which could have at least been a break from my frozen state.

But I must have gone at least once after I was in Boys in the Band in June 1975, a play about gay life. I recall being in the parsonage next door Continue reading “Traipsing thru the theological wilderness”