Photo diary: a weekend in the Poconos

July 28, 2015

(click photos to enlarge)

Andy and I spent the weekend visiting his college chum Sari (below) at her family’s lakeside summer house along with her kiddo Samson, her mom Judy, and some other college friends, John and Kathleen, with their adorable offspring, Josie and Henry.

7-25 lake hostess
7-25 sari and samson7-25 josie7-26 boys and legos

There was swimming, fishing, boating, lounging, and encountering lakeside wildlife:

7-25 visiting duck7-28 resident frog

mysterious underwater glop

mysterious underwater glop

distinctive lawn ornaments

distinctive lawn ornaments

gnome with eagle poop: the painting Norman Rockwell forgot to paint

gnome with eagle poop: the painting Norman Rockwell forgot to paint

creature from the toybox

creature from the toybox

lakeside idyll: John and Josie in the hammock with Harry Potter

lakeside idyll: John and Josie in the hammock with Harry Potter


From the Deep Archives: vintage ticket stubs

July 28, 2015

Apparently, I have never discarded any ticket stubs. Attempting to clean off the surfaces in my office, I came across an envelope containing my oldest stash of torn tickets from high school and college. It’s hard to believe how cheap concert and theater tickets used to be! Of course, at a certain point I started getting press comps (the ones that are punched or have a line through), but still…

(click to enlarge)

7-28 theater tix stubs

7-28 concerts 2

7-28 concert tix

 

 


Culture Vulture/Photo Diary: medical artwork at the Rubin Museum

July 24, 2015

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Last Friday Andy and I went to the Rubin Museum of Art for the screening in their Cabaret Cinema series of Jim Henson’s 1986 film Labyrinth, starring David Bowie, a very young Jennifer Connelly, and a million puppets. While milling around with the Friday night K-2 Lounge cocktail crowd and waiting for the movie theater door to open, we took the time to check out the exhibition downstairs of tangkas (Tibetan paintings) related to medical treatment. They’re very beautiful, intricately drawn and inscribed, and frank enough in their depiction of bodily functions to conjure comic books inspired by Hieronymous Bosch.

Take, for instance, this display of “Herbal and Animal Medications”:

7-17 herbal and animal meds tangka7-17 herbal and animal meds detail 17-17 herbal and animal meds detail 2
Other paintings (the equivalent of those anatomical posters doctors display in their examining rooms) focus on “Urinalysis: Demonic Possession and Divination,” “The Lesser Elixir of Rejuvenation and the Causes of Virility and Fertility,” and “Indications of Physical Decay and Dream Prognosis,” any one of which would make a great album title, don’t you think?

7-17 elegant pooping7-17 dream images7-17 animal droppings7-17 menstrual woes7-17 kissing fucking naked
The art exhibit turned out to be more engrossing than the film, sadly. For some reason, Andy thought it was going to be introduced by the team that created High Maintenance, a web series that we like very much, but the more logical speakers before the screening were Henson puppet masters Rollie Krewson and Connie Peterson, who shared their recollections about the technical challenges the film entailed. The movie itself and Bowie’s performance in particular seemed quite silly to me, but it did lead us to the discovery — Googling at home — that Bowie’s juggling double for the scenes with the crystal balls was none other than the magnificent Michael Moschen.

While we’re on the subject of underwhelming films, I’ll mention that I was looking forward to seeing Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young because some reviews mentioned that the characters take part in an ayahuasca ceremony and I was curious to see if it would be handled respectfully or if it would be treated as some sort of trendy spiritual fad. Any guesses? A couple in their thirties — Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts — are getting to the last possible moment of becoming parents. Watching their close friends — played by Maria Dizzia and Adam Horovitz — settle into baby-centered middle age freaks them out, and they find themselves befriending a couple in their twenties — Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried — and suddenly doing things that the young folks do. It’s pretty predictable and ultimately pretty infuriating. But the casting is great; thanks to the amazing Doug Aibel, you get to see wonderful New York performers in small roles, including the playwright Annie Baker.


Quote of the day: INITIATION

July 24, 2015

INITIATION

The biggest single reason our culture views death as unimportant is that we don’t practice any childhood-ending rituals. When there’s no initiation into adulthood, death cannot assume its rightful place in a culture…An initiation is a person-making event, which means the cultures that practice initiation don’t see children as people. Children are hugely important. They are a privilege and a joy and bestow richness by their presence. But in these cultures they aren’t understood to be full-fledged human beings, because a human being is a participant in the back and forth of life. Children are no capable of that. A child’s job is to be self-absorbed. And for them to become adults, that self-absorption has to be killed off, because nobody gives up childhood willingly, certainly not here. Hence you encounter fifty-five-year-old adolescents everywhere you go.

Childhood gets killed off in initiation ceremonies. Overtly that is achieved through isolation and fasting and darkness, but covertly it is by the purposeful and skillful introduction of the child to her or his personal, meaning-burdened death in a ritual guided by older people whose lives have prepared them for such moments. Through the ceremony, the awareness of death, its meaning and justice, is granted to kids. It’s not what they were seeking, but it’s granted to them. It’s like a nuclear bomb goes off, and childhood does not survive the radiation. It cannot, because childhood is predicated on everything lasting as long as we want it to, and nobody who loves us ever leaving, and so forth.

If the initiation is successful, you come out of it able to see the centrality of death in life, which is the beginning of your capacity to participate deeply in the indebtedness that is the basis of all real culture. This is not macabre. It’s not fatalistic. It doesn’t legitimize people committing suicide. I sometimes get those responses from people who’ve had no initiation. Their objections arise from the idea that life is not supposed to be burdened by the awareness of death, but everybody who’s been through an initiation knows that death doesn’t burden your life. It animates your life. The centrality of death gives you the chance to live, because it says, “Here’s the bad news: it’s not going to last. And here’s the good news: it’s not going to last.” You can choose how to take that. You have the opportunity to sink both heels into the soil and say, “Here I stand, and while I do, there are things I can do.” The news of your imminent demise is enabling, when all is said and done.

— Stephen Jenkinson, interviewed in The Sun

Stephen-Jenkinson-MTS-MSW-Founder-of-The-Orphan-Wisdom-School


Photo Diary: it’s a thing

July 20, 2015

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6-22 code blue it's a thing
6-22 raw darkness it's a thing
7-14 chelsea guitars
7-12 anal street
7-20 text stop it's a thing
7-10 detail it's a thing
7-18 donald eres un pendejo


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