Monday, July 23, 2007


Our week in Virginia with the family was soooo relaxing that, now, writing about it feels like a damn term paper. Fortunately, unlike term papers, blogs allow pitchers.

I did NAME my photo files so you can click on them and see my very brief thoughts, but that's as far as I'm going in terms of writing copy. For several people I didn't get a good photo (Ellen, Diane, me ... and Sue, who couldn't make it -- we missed you, Sue!).

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I read an article about an online contest  for the "Most Photoshopped Magazine Image."  Redbook took the prize
with this heavily heavily heavily retouched shot of already-hot-without-Photoshop Faith Hill. You can see they
chipped away at her shoulder, rib cage, face, made a right arm out of the flesh they clipped from her left ... if you
look closely at the better/stronger/faster Faith, you'll see that even her earrings are slimmer.

But nobody even told me there was a contest! Had I known, I'd have submitted the raw negatives in my possession from the cover shoot for this month's issue of Piece magazine, because they make this Redbook scandal look rather quaint:

This sort of photo manipulation only adds to the already-unrealistic expectations and negative body image syndrome (NBIS) suffered by women and girls throughout our culture. I'm just looking out for the children, here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


From Sidney Blumenthal's article in Salon on the Scooter Libby commutation:

Since 1776, on every July Fourth, the Declaration of Independence has been posted in public places, published in newspapers and read aloud. Its bill of particulars contains these two passages defining royal tyranny and justifying revolution:
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
... For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments.

Happy Fourth.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


An Oscar Mayer commercial came on last night where the wienermobile is shown heading down the road on its way to a big spelling bee. Later in the spot we see the contestants spelling BO-LO-G-N-A, but first we get to watch the giant hotdog driving into an underground parking garage.

“There goes the huge wiener into the tunnel,” Jude said, literally nudge-nudging me, then glancing, then repeating, “driving that big hotdog deep into the tunnel.”

“Um-hmm,” I answered.

“I’m gonna stop joking around with you,” she said, arms folded. “You don’t appreciate my stuff. I guess I’m going to need to sharpen up my material before we head off to your big family reunion Banterfest 2007.”

My baby believes in giving jest a rest, that’s true. Instead she’s focused on the world around us, on people, and on every beautiful thing that catches her eye. She has no patience for bad service or bad driving, but she feels genuinely for anybody who’s been harmed or mocked or who's received some good news. And she can spend a great deal of time (believe me) admiring and absorbing a piece of art.

When I’m touched by art, I immediately want to know more about the artist. Jude, though, just wants to know where she can see more of the art. Art is like food for her, while for me it’s like conversation. For Jude, conversation is conversation – talk of joys and troubles – and food, by golly, is one of the fine arts. You should see the food she cooks for us. It’s beautiful. That’s why, for me, having Jude cook us a meal and then sit down to talk over it is the best thing I can imagine.

I fell in love with Jude the first moment I ever saw her. I thought she was grounded (she is) and I thought she was sultry (verily, she is). On one of our first dates she brought a nice pinot noir over and I didn’t have any wine glasses, so we drank it out of the bottle, shyly wiping the lip with our sleeves as we passed it back and forth over our lasagna.

We don't have kids, and I don't think we will unless somebody leaves one on the stoop. But Jude raised Tony and Lacey, and now they both have kids so we're like renters instead of owners; we just have to return them, clean and on time, with the tanks full. They love Jude because her heart is rich with experience and they can sense that she's experiencing them. She makes them feel safe and she comes up with endless arts and crafts projects for them, long after I'd have put them in front of the TV.

Early in our relationship, she talked me into quitting a job I hated, and she moved with me all the way to Virginia, leaving behind everybody she knew in the world. My Dad told me once that a relationship requires submission, and I only came to understand that with Jude (again, verily!). There’s nothing either of us wouldn’t give up for the other’s happiness, understanding instinctively that it’s worth it, that we actually gain from it. On July 4, 1999, she married me and it still amazes me that, every day, I find I love her even more.