Assassins, PBS, Parades and the Turtle Creek Chorale

It is Monday.

Ron asleep to my right. Kitty asleep in front of me. It’s 9:01 am.

(from Sunday, stuck on the laptop, posting now)

Went to see Brigitte in Open Eye’s production of Assassins. She was filling in for the role of Emma Goldman – along with her duties in the ensemble. Assassins remains one of my favorite shows because it is so unrelenting. It’s a musical/revue with scenes and songs with US history’s presidential assassins and would-be assassins. It is a hard hard score – I was an accompanist for it in college and it really hurts the wrists. The scenes with Sarah Jane Moore and Squeaky Fromme are the best – 2 kooky gals sliding into a dark vaudeville routine concerning firearms and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Assassins is one of the few musicals to address the frustrations of the American Dream – that there is so much promised in this land of promise, that we all eventually feel entitled and bark ‘Where’s my prize? I deserve a fucking prize!’ I’ve always wanted to do something like this with serial kilers.

(later that night)

Went the Caribou on Broadway and Aldine, walked Ron back home after our late evening map which has made me strangely peppy. The place was full so I bade Ron goodbye and then came to the Caribou on Clark and Barry.

(today, Wednesday morning)

Got a lot done yesterday when I took the time to write out all the things I’d done. I still don’t like the proposal for book #3 – it is only half done and I am not sure what is the unique selling proposition of the book. Most importantly, I got my two media releases perused and feedbacked by my buddy Wayne who is a radio publicity maven. I’ve been using Google Spreadsheets to track all my projects and to-do’s. It’s a pretty snazzy implementation. The part I haven’t used yet that I’m looking forward to is the sharing spreadsheets where if someone changes a cell while you are both in the spreadsheet – it updates it in real-time. That and you can use a chat function while you are viewing the same spreadsheet.

Wow, nobody is online yet – I just checked my Skype list.

Off to the gym in a bit. Going to do shoulders today and then add some time on the bike. I’ve done lifting pretty regularly for about six cycles so I feel I can add the bike time in there. I’ve downloaded some teleclasses to keep me occupied whilst I bike.

Ron and I are getting into the late evening nap habit. It suddenly seems like the sun hangs above the treetops for hours and hours and doesn’t really set until 8 or so. And it didn’t seem like we got to that point gradually – it’s like all of a sudden the days are extra long.

We watched some good PBS last night. Nova was on the procedures and encasements and preservation of the Consitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Something notable that I hadn’t pieced together is the idea of the shifting meanings of the documents – the gradual expanding of the meaning of the phrase ‘all men are created equal’. I knew that originally it only applied to adult, white men and then changed – but I hadn’t really considered the fact that the documents have expanded in their meaning.

After that was an absolutely fantastic documenary on Dallas’s Turtle Creek Chorale – a gay men’s chorale in Texas. I am not moved often by stuff like this but it is a great chronicle of this hugely popular and successful gay men’s choir in the middle of God’s country. I shed a few tears watching a grown man call his Jehovah’s Witness parents after not talking to them for 23 years or seeing a couple of men travel to Guatemala to bring their adopted son home – heartbreaking and inspiring. I often discount the impact of AIDS since I wasn’t out and about during the 1980s – part of me is so glad I didn’t have to travel through that valley of death back then. And now, I am more moved by AIDS as a global catastrophe than a isolated dynamic. Anyway, the documentary was wonderful. Of course some of the best commentary was from the woman accmpanist who’d been with them forever saying how she’d show up at the dressing room before the show and the guys would do her hair and help her with her eyeliner – and that they had better makeup than she did.

Been reading Noam Chomsky’s Failed States. He needs to have an editor chunk out his content better. Chomsky writes like he talks and he covers a lot of ground from page to page so I think headings would really assist in delivering the dialectical structure of his text.

Yeah, I just said dialectical.

Teaching a class today for Andrea’s folks. I think it’ll be a good time. I’m in a surly ranty mood.

Ron’s off to the Aquarium today and he’s going to go see the Tut exhibit with some co-workers – they get in free since United is sponsoring the exhibit. Ron grabbed the wrong phone last night so I have his phone and I think he has mine. I changed the startup message on his phone to read one of our current favorite lines: ‘It’s prononced thermometer.’ George, Jerry and Kramer are talking and Jerry says something about a barometer and Kramer says ‘It’s pronounced thermometer.’ I love that joke because there are about four different dynamics of character and humour all in that one sentence. Last night was the episode where Elaine eats the $29,000 piece of cake – that and she protests all the office parties ‘Get! Well! Soon! We want you to get well!’ I always did find it cloying to pretend like you were best buddies with your co-workers. I know my dad would often incur the wrath of the nearly all female staff at the school where he taught because he though contributing to a pool to send flowers or greeting cards was ridiculous – that it degrades the intent if there’s a pre-set amount of money for this stuff. Anyway, Ron’s new startup cellphone text is ‘It’s prononunced thermometer.’ He once changed mine to ‘I love you.’

Tried to watch all of Mr. Bush Goes to Baghdad yesterday. Between that and Rove not being indicted… ugh. I do still hope that Rove isn’t cleared of all wrong-doing. I think Fitzgerald is one of the most even-tempered guys I’ve ever seen at a press conference.

Watched Al Gore on Larry King last night. God Larry King is an awful interviewer. He seems so disconnected to the society around him. Gore did a good job but needs to combat his need to over-explain – that was the death of Kerry where he’d string 8 thoughts with the clause ‘and by that I mean’ over and over again.

I can’t believe the parade is next weekend. I’d talked to Luis at the gym (or maybe his name is Jose – there’s 2 Luises and 1 Jose and 1 Marco and I get them mixed up sometime – I know, I know…) and he was saying how he’s not even sure he’s going to go this year. I do think there’s no reason the parade should last four hours. If they were able to clip it down to 2 it’d be a lot less epic. If I can see the veterans, the teachers, PFLAG and the Chicago PD, that’s enough for me. Unless they bring back the men of Altoids. Oh and Dykes on Bikes. Oh and Amigas Latinas. And I do hope Blagojevich shows up – and maybe Durbin or Obama will too. This will be the fifth parade Ron and I have gone to together.

Forgot to say that the documentary last night reminded me to send money to PBS.






3 responses to “Assassins, PBS, Parades and the Turtle Creek Chorale”

  1. Jeff Avatar

    I agree with your assessment of Larry King. He’s really much too old to be doing this. I remember him from radio and the brain just doesn’t have its sharpness anymore.

  2. Pat Gundry Avatar

    I thought that was a great and very well done docu about the chorale too. Just happened upon it part way through, but couldn’t leave once I’d seen a bit. Seemed so poignant, so cruel, the Jehovah’s Witness family, but they’d not be the only ones like that, I’m sure.

    Loved the song, not afraid of God, but what people do in their god’s name. Historically, and now too, many of the worst crimes, with the broadest scope fit that.

    I think it is the authoritarian mindset that accompanies, feeds upon, and is supported by some elements of most religions. Authoritarians have to have an “other,” someone who is out so they can be in. To the authoritarian there must be two choices, between extremes, a right and a wrong. And for right to exist for them, there must be a wrong at the polar opposite of their own belief.

  3.  Avatar

    I remember the TCC from when I lived in Dallas. They do a lot for the community, and for its members’ self-esteem.

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