Change is in the works here at the homestead, with a new office underway at the front of our house. I'm thrilled to have Aunt Cleeta's desk that sat in her living room in Terre Haute for more than three decades. Her home on Ohio Blvd. is still the most lovely and distinctive residence in the city in my opinion. For someone who lived the high life in pink French Provincial formality, she was a fun-loving, open-minded, spirited person who rubbed a lot of that off on me.
Aunt Cleeta has been gone for something like 11 years now, so the fact that her desk unexpectedly made its way to me (thanks Dad and Sue!) at a time when I'm moving my workspace is too cool!
Alison and Carlos are taking the futon and I'm scouting for the rest of the furniture to complete the new "look." But first, the hard work must begin. I'll be a painting fool this weekend. "Beeswax" is the name of the pale yellow color I'm using, provided that the test strip I'm applying in the next hour or so looks decent. We shall see.
Rory has been educating me about Firefly, a TV series (now off the air) about cowboys in space. It must be something if Rory is excited because he's pretty hard to impress. I do believe this is what I'll be watching this week.
Last week, we made the journey to Cellular Field to see the Sox spank the Mariners 13-5. What an exciting night. For my first visit to Cellular, I was struck by the tasty assortment of food going way beyond ordinary baseball fare. Good Lord, I ate like a pig.
United Airlines has some great new commercials airing during the Olympics, with things like an orchestra of sea creatures forming an island of music out in the ocean. Still, the piece below is my favorite. It's fanciful and stylistic. Plus, the dad in the commercial looks so much like Jay. Wonderful!
"I'm an ordinary guy with an extraordinary job." -- Bernie Mac.
What a kind and talented person. We laughed our heads off at The Bernie Mac Show. I especially loved his monologues, where he made his case directly with the viewer. His rants usually involved some hilarious household discretion and actually served to give us some insight into the kind of husband and father he was in real life. Bernie Mac was a good guy and a huge talent. He was a Chicago legend and as evidenced by the tributes pouring into the media, he will be missed in a big way.
Decades ago, when teachers at Warren Elementary quizzed us on our favorite subjects, mine was always current events. For some bizarre reason, I rejected cartoons in favor of Walter Cronkite and that "Industry on Parade" program that aired on Saturday mornings. In the '70s, Woodward and Bernstein were cracking the Watergate case while my fanny was planted in a seat at Parsons Hall, wildly scribbling notes during one journalism class or another.
And so ... who would have thought it would come to this? The National Enquirer bit into the John Edwards adultry story and didn't let go. Mainstream media, struggling mightily with its own economic concerns, failed to do its job on this one. How could Edwards have believed that he could run for President while concealing a secret of this magnitude? In the old days, it would have been possible. But gone are the days when news was "owned" by traditional media outlets. While news is happening, people are shooting it on video with their own cameras. Their still pics are showing up on Flickr. They are adding their own first-hand observations to their blogs.
Stories don't die out if the people are passionate about them. I'm sure old-timers in the media, accustomed to the traditional ways, are appalled at their new lack of control. The power is now in the hands of the people. And these people are not reading publications that ignore the real stories, fill their pages with rewritten press releases and pander to their advertisers.
The Olympic Games in Beijing are sure to be an eye-opener as we begin to grasp the magnitude and implications of huge economic change in China. However, every time I experience the media hype around these games, I cannot help but wonder what happened to the anonymous young man who planted his feet in front of a tank in Tianamen Square in 1989. Watching TV coverage as this protest unfolded and turned violent, I was struck then by this simple and unflinching act of courage. Did this young man survive? Is he still locked up somewhere? We'll probably never know, but when they talk about courage and spirit and determination during the games, this image is sure to cross my mind.
Just the other day, Rory mentioned something about critical mass bike rides, which are intended to point out how city infrastructures and automobile drivers don't respect the rights (or lives) of bicyclists on the road. Just to be fair, I think he said something about some bicyclists also smacking a few cars with hammers, but we won't go there since it may only be a rumor.
While surfing the Austin 360 fit city blog, I ran across mention of this video of a smackdown during a NYC critical mass bike ride. Seems like no matter where you are or what you are doing, somebody's there with a video camera these days. Good thing, in this case.
Watch this cop dart over and push a cyclist off his bike. Problem is, the officer accused the cyclish of hitting HIM. According to Austin 360, "The New York Times reported that the cyclist, 29-year-old Christopher Long, was later charged with attempted assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest." Looks like this cop needs some prosecuting, himself.
Seems so long ago (because it was) but, yes, I saw The Beatles twice. Once at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and the following year at Shea Stadium. Listen carefully around 3:11. I would have been the crying girl desperately screaming, "Ringo!!!" Although Ringo didn't reply to any of the carefully crafted letters I wrote him, he's still my fav Beatle.