August 17, 2017

I remember growing up in upstate NY and we'd have those Lender bagels, the ones in a bag... I figure we must have had them with blueberry jam along with the cream cheese, because this Greek Yogurt w/ Blueberry brings back such strong sense memories it's kind of uncanny...
Another take from the Economist on a response to that leaked Google discrimination memo

August 16, 2017

"We're all just future cadavers, right?"
--Emmett FitzGerald on 99% Invisible's Episode on the Stethoscope. (Inventor René Laennec worked with sick patient before and after they died to learn more about what the sounds could tell us...)
Was thinking about doing a snarky comparison with Trumps "I like winners" view on McCain set against his tolerance for statues of Robert E. Lee. Skimmed the wikipedia page on Lee. I guess the case is made that he, himself, wasn't a big defender of slavery. I mean, I'm not sure it matters; this cultural fight takes place about a lot of really important ideas, ideas that go down to the roots of what this country stands for, and how we must treat each other if we want humanity to thrive, with liberty and justice for all; but maybe it's sometimes useful to remember that sometimes specific fights are mixing up the map with the territory.

August 15, 2017

Blender of Love

"There's a line from a Russian poem. It says: 'We love just once in a lifetime. And spend the rest of our lives looking for something similar.'"
--Man from St. Petersburg, Russia (via humans of New York) -- crazy sad tale
No Nazis - No KKK - No Fascists USA -

"You can't be anti-participation trophies and pro Confederate statues. They are the world's biggest participation trophies."
"In the past, empires were ruled by emperors, then kingdoms were ruled by kings. Now we have countries."

August 14, 2017

Well, despite the bad news of neo-nazi dorks planning their upcoming "free speech" rally in our lovely city, in the meanwhile we can feast on the tears of yankee fans.

I admit I'm getting a little FOMO with not going to full-eclipse-land.

August 13, 2017tuba

photo by Jason Victor Rosenman
Trump: "*All* cars driven into peaceful counterprotestors matter"
"By all means, compare these shitheads to the Nazis. Again and again. I'm with you."
--Mike Godwin

August 12, 2017

Paste: What's the best piece of advice you ever got?

Tambor: It's a piece of advice I don't understand, still. It was taught to me by my teacher: "Adore everything." I'm still not quite sure what it means, but it's very powerful. We have a tendency to think--down the line, when I'm paid, and I'm walking the red carpet, and I get to be a series regular. And it's not that. It's everything. It's about the ups and downs. See, the great thing about being an actor--and the lucky thing about being an actor--is for the civilian, when the dog dies, you mourn and you bury the dog. With the actor, the grace note is--the dog dies, you mourn, you bury the dog... and your acting gets better. Because the "paint" gets more vibrant. There's more history to it.
--Paste Magazine interviewing Jeffrey Tambor, who played the dad in "Arrested Development" and the mom in "Transparent"

August 11, 2017history

Our family friend Larry Wittenberg had a Super 8 w/ Sound camera and has a bunch of brief home movies. (Pretty nifty gadget.)

At least two of them have some footage of my dad. I think it's the only audio footage of my dad I know of, except there might video tape of him playing a elderly grandfather stuck in a rocking chair for a Christmas pageant (given how sick he was at that point, that part wasn't much of a stretch, alas)


(Love the shot of my mom Youtube picked to thumbnail it.)

The opening scene is a child on a distinctive kids chair, consisting of 3 slotting rectangles, made by my grandfather (there are two piece in all, and either can be stood as a chair, a rocking chair, or a desk)

Quiet scene of my dad at 0:20.

Then it's a Wittenberg and Israel kitchen scene, I suppose in our place in Cincinnati.

At around 0:54 is my dad, hiding behind his hands from the camera. At 1:06 the camera is on me, and I think my dad is talking about the mafia (a group he consistently despised, along with the movies that would glorify them.)

2:00 has my dad sticking his tongue out at the camera. Later there's some further goofing and some leg.

Around 3:13, it's a new recording. The scene changes to our over-the-church apartment in Salamanca NY. That's the first home I had recollections of, and could sketch out its layout. Now it's a surprisingly small grass field. My Aunt, Uncle, his son, and a Salvation Army cadet from Poland are also there besides my family the Wittenbergs.

I recognize a lot, like the mission chair, lamp and server from St. Thomas still in my mom's house, the record player behind my dad at 3:52, the umbrella plant "Kirk Tree" that was planted when I was born (finally died a few year ago). I guess as an "Officer Kid" who moved around a lot, it's those kind of objects that make a place for me... in almost any photo taken in an old apartment, I'm often as or more interested in what books are on my shelves then whoever is in the main subject of the shot.

Around 4:00 is probably the single biggest stretch of my dad's voice. Along with me in the background clowning for attention.

My Uncle at 4:50 and one of his infamous naps...

At around 5:15 my dad does a bit of deliberate pantomime with a pampers box, a stuffed koala bear, and a brush , kind of invoking the "Little Tramp" bit with the rolls from "The Gold Rush"

Finally the video ends with a quiet shot of an infant and a toddler, probably just using up the film.

A lot of feelings struck up with this, from some cringing at how attention seeking I was then (I know it's a fairly normal part of life especially that age but still) to some things that will never be fully resolved between father and son, to just a general feeling of bittersweet nostalgia.