Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Most Excellent!

Our church represented in the Gay Pride Parade this year. Here they are carrying our banner, supporting and welcoming GLBT people to our church.
I love these people!

I believe in Rainbows

Monica and I went way down state almost to Kentucky, to visit two dear friends for a few days. It is about a five hour drive if you don't stop for a snack or the bathroom or to stretch. Going straight through is faster but I like rest stops. I like to see the people who are traveling on the same road. I like to see Americans. I know I see them everyday, but they're all from here, they all have the same flavor so to speak, you know. Airports of course are a good place to see a variety of Americans, but airports to me have become a place of frustration and annoyances. I don't really enjoy airports. I just want to get where I'm going.
Rest stops and highway oasis' are different. I have good childhood memories of those oasis type places when my family would go to Alabama in the summer. But now, you can buy a DVD-VCR combo in an oasis! Weird!

Our friends Russ and Dan cooked for us and pampered us and we were able to unwind and relax after a tough year. We talked a lot and got to know each other and had big fun. They have a fabulously beautiful home with a pool. I am not that much of a swimmer so Dan and I went skimming. I am a great skimmer.

Russ came back with us to Chicago and Monica did all the driving. We ran into a couple of storms that we could see off to the west. It was weird to see the streaks coming from the huge dark cloud that was actually moving taking the rain with it, while all around the cloud was sunny. The cloud with rain, moving along like in a cartoon. When the cloud reached us it was torrential. At one point Russ pointed out that the northbound side of the highway was being drenched while the southbound side was dry. Nature is amazing.

We were chatting about Gay Pride Day in Chicago and wondering if it rained on the festivities. Then, as if on cue, a beautiful rainbow formed off to the east of the highway. Acknowledgement and support from the heavens!
We clapped and cheered and believed it was so.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I Love These People

Monica and I belong to University Church which is located on the University of Chicago campus in Chicago. A couple years ago we went shopping for a church because we felt we needed to receive and give to a church community. We are not churchy, religious types but we are believers and spiritual people. So, we visited several churches. University church flies the GLBT rainbow flag, but many Hyde Park churches do. However, I felt I was Home at University as soon as I saw the huge AIDS ribbon in the sanctuary, and the pleasant surprise that the director of music was my high school music teacher and that his wife was in the choir.

Monica loved the calm the services brought her after a week with school kids and we both liked the two ministers, the people and the United Church of Christ's (UCC) philosophy of being anti-racist, open and affirming and belief that God Is Still Speaking. Our friends James and Marilyn recently joined and our friends Gene and Gordon have also joined.
I just love all of these people. Good people, genuinely open and supportive people.

I Like these pictures of our dance choir.

Friday, June 09, 2006


I am eclectic when it comes to the arts. Music especially is a passion with me. I like some of everything. I do. But the genre I love most is Blues. Downhome, urban, country, traditional, modern, or rhythm and...
Yeah the, my baby done left me, my dog done died, nobody loves me but my mother and she could be lying too, blues

I love them all, from the work songs of the slaves to Robert Johnson out on that Crossroads, Elmore James and Sonny Boy Williamson.. to Bessie Smith, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, BB King and Jimi Bobby Blue Bland, Koko Taylor and Tyrone Davis.. to Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, Bonnie Raite, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Robert Cray. I love me some Blues.
So, here are two of my favorites. Others will be stoppin' by from time to time.

Jimi Hendrix played great blues, acoustic or electric. Although he was not known as a blues artist, that's where he first drew his inspiration and it was the base of his rock playing. You only had to hear Electric Church Red House or the raunchy, nasty Little Wing to know this was true. Yes, he was the master of lightning fast riffs, distortion, fuzz, and feedback but he could also play a clear sweet acoustic Red House or Muddy Waters' classic Mannish Boy. My cousins, Lavern, Suzan, Kenneth and I share Jimi's November 27th birthday. That is a slammin' date.

Robert Johnson went out on that old crossroads and made a pact with the devil for the guitar talent to take him to fame and fortune. He wrote and recorded 29 songs, and then ole satan came and got him. That's the deal. He didn't realize that he already had the talent or when you make a pact with a cunning entity, you have to pay attention to detail and the fine print. Robert Johnson is famous and would have had fortune had he specified he wanted these things during his lifetime.
His songs raunchy and sexual and clever, have been recorded by the Rolling Stones and especially by Eric Clapton. There have been movies and documentaries and papers and books examining his music and his short life and tragic death at age 27.
His music, clearly classic blues progressions, but his playing was intricate and inventive and definitly a transition to the future electric blues of Muddy Waters and B B King, and influencial to the music of Led Zepplin's Jimmy Page and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Eric Clapton.

Too bad you had those Hellhounds On Your Trail Robert.

But I am grateful for the 29, and thanks for Sweet Home Chicago.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

SNL Legends

Maya Rudolph is a brilliant comic on Saturday Night Live. Check out her take off as Oprah at the Legends Ball. Hilarious!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Yayyy Broadway!!!!

Variety reports that Broadway is back in a big way!
Fueled by holdover hits and a terrific selection of new shows, the 2005-06 season grossed a record $861.6 million, up 12% from the previous season.

Paid attendance broke the 12 million barrier for the first time, hitting 12,003,148 ticket buyers.

Top earners were "Wicked," with $68.1 million; "The Lion King," at $59.3 million; "Monty Python's Spamalot," $53.6 million; "Mamma Mia!" with $48.9 million; and "The Producers" with $40.2 million.

Of the new shows this season, biggest hits were "Jersey Boys," "The Color Purple" and "The Odd Couple."

The percentage of seats filled also hit an all-time record: 81.6%. The number of playing weeks -- sum total of the number of weeks played by each show -- was 1,501, up from 1,494 the prior season but not quite as high as the 2002-03 season, when playing weeks rose to 1,544.

Figures mark a big bounce-back for Broadway, which was hard hit by 9/11. Attendance hadn't neared 12 million since the 2000-01 season, which logged 11.89 million theatergoers.

Season attendance for 2004-05 was 11.53 million, earning $768.5 million.

WOW! That's Terrific! It makes me happy! One reason noted for this is the increase in domestic and foreign tourism in New York City.

NYC IS BACK! Big Apple 1 Terrorist Zilch!

Ticket sales were even strong for hot shows like Julia Robert's "Three Days of Rain" that upped tix prices to $110.

Another indicator of Broadway's robust health is all four of last year's Tony-nominated shows -- "Monty Python's Spamalot," "The Light in the Piazza," "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" -- are still running.

Hot shows, Revivals, Long Runners and New Shows all doing well! That makes me smile to know that people still enjoy drama and song and dance with melodic lyrics with a live orchestra.
I just read President Bush's address from yesterday. He is an evil man. I needed to smile.