Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Rosie's Birthday Weekend

Just got back from visiting my friend Rosie in Philadelphia. (Rosie is a frequent commenter here typically on my more political posts.) It was her 40th birthday. Rosie has been to Indy three times since she moved from there to PA to get her PhD at Temple. I hadn’t visited her once, so her big day was a good reason to go.

While there we drove over to the Brandywine River Valley to Winterthur (just over the border in Delaware) to see the American furniture collections and gardens (if you like either at all you owe yourself a visit).

I took a picture of Rosie in the Enchanted Garden’s bird nest.

Rosie in the nest
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

Some of you will remember me taking John’s picture in the same spot last year (actually it turned out to be the same day last year!). Theoretically Rosie and John are both acting as if they were baby birds waiting for their mom to feed them a worm. I took three shots of Rosie doing this and this was the best one. I kept telling her “tilt your head back like your mom is bringing you a worm,” but all she could manage was this expression of shocked horror, more like a human in the nest of a gigantic monster bird that has just returned. I don’t know for a fact that Rosie has ever actually seen a baby bird being fed. Looking at this picture I have my doubts. I know she isn’t really into “nature.” She mentioned this more than once on our trip. While Rosie didn’t make a very convincing baby bird, I feel comfortable saying that the photo is probably an apt description of her feelings towards nature.

These are Mountain Laurel blossoms.

Mountain Laurel
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

The leaves look kind of like those of Rhododendron, but the blooms look almost like folk art flowers sewn from felt. The blossoms about to open look like tiny Chinese party lanterns.

One of the reasons Rosie wanted to visit the Brandywine Valley is this Mexican ice cream shop in nearby Kennett Square.

Ice Cream
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

Rosie loves ice cream more than anyone I know (only the good stuff), and this place serves flavors you won’t find anywhere else. She had roasted corn ice cream. I had pine nut. I know, it sounds bizarre, but think pistachio or butter pecan. We were both happy.

Rosie had two parties, one Friday at Bistro 7 and one at her apartment on Saturday night. The food at Bistro 7 was pretty amazing. I wanted to take a picture of my appetizer, a colorful red and gold beet terrine with watercress, chevre, a strawberry puree and another spicy sauce I couldn’t decode, but I forgot my camera. Saturday night we had chocolate cake, maple ice cream and champagne cocktails with Rosie’s friends Kirsten, Evelyn, and Evelyn’s friend Zach.

Rosie's party
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

We spent Sunday touring University of Pennsylvania (the U.S.’s first university) and then cooling off in the galleries at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. At the PMA we were surprised to run into my friend Ellen from Dallas and her wonderful mother. The museum is huge and always crowded. I can’t imagine what the odds are that we would meet up. We hopped a cab back to Rosie’s place with just enough time before my flight to enjoy some Asiago Fresca cheese (and two other cheeses the names of which I can’t remember), a great bread, and fig preserves which we had picked up on Friday afternoon at some of Rosie’s favorite haunts. Rosie walks around with a number of economic systems running simultaneously through her head, including a nutrition economy (which is why she doesn't look 40). She insists we walked off every bit of food we ate during the weekend. I'm not one to doubt her, but that was some awfully creamy cheese.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Holy Cross Neighborhood Tree Planting

Our neighborhood, Holy Cross, received a tree grant from Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. About 50 of our neighbors planted 71 trees this past weekend. We are so proud of our new arrivals. Holy Cross is a good old neighborhood that has fought its way back from hard times. And the trees make it even more beautiful.

This is Mindy's new Winterking Hawthorn. She actually got two!

Mindy's Winterking Hawthorn
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

Susan was part of Team Sturm Street. She got a Bur Oak like ours. We planted 12 trees on Sturm alone.

Part of Team Sturm
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

Planting is just the beginning. Each tree has to get 15 gallons of water each week. This is the water crew. Note the big tank in the back of the truck.

Water Patrol
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

All totaled it took us about 6 hours to plant all of the trees. Then we had a big barbecue to celebrate. It was a good day.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Conor-On Making the Outside Match the Inside

Conor who last posted as guest blogger a few days ago is a friend of ours. He is a junior in high school and Dave, John, and I have been joking with him for a year about how we were going to "help" him get ready for his prom. Well, believe it or not, he actually let us! So here is Conor before:

Conor before
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

John took him to Origins to teach him how to take care of his face. Dave and I helped him pick out and get fitted for his tux (the tie is Dave's). We also taught him how to walk in it and took him out to eat to go over table manners. Another friend (also named Dave) gave him a killer haircut. I took him to get a manicure and pedicure (the pedicure was just for fun. I don't think he took his shoes off during the prom, but I think everybody should have at least one pedicure in their life. He seemed to enjoy it). Don, who is a florist took care of his date's coursage.

And here was the result:

Conor and Abby
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

It is a good thing we did the work, because Abby, his girfriend, is beautiful. She and her mom made her dress, which is perfectly simple and elegant. Conor asked his parents to drop a small box of Abby's favorite chocolates by her house so it would be waiting for her when she got home. I told him that this would automatically put him into the Boyfriend Hall of Fame.

You have to admit, the man knows how to work a tux! We are mighty proud of Conor, though we can only take so much credit. He already had the goods when it came to the important things--character, honesty, compassion, intelligence. Now, he knows how to make the outside match the inside.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Guest Blogger Conor on Gay Parents Adopting

Conor, our pastor's son, is a good friend of ours. He is 17. One day not too long ago I was driving him to get fitted for his prom tux (his prom is tonight--more on that in a later). As we drove he asked me about a recent court ruling he'd heard about here in IN where a judge allowed two women to adopt a child together. I asked him why he was interested in this, and he said he was writing a persuasive paper on inclusive adoption. I asked him if he would be a guest blogger at GrowingSense and let me post his paper. He said yes, so here it is:

Should adoption be legal for all people? All kinds of people should have the opportunity to share in the joys of parenthood. Maybe it is a single parent who cannot find a spouse but still wants to have a child, or maybe a gay couple that wants to become parents. We can easily give that opportunity to these people.

Single parents, as they should, legally have the chance to adopt children if they want. They often make the same amount of money as a family where one parent does not work. If a person chooses not to marry should they not get the chance to be a parent like people who do marry? We should give them the chance to adopt because some single parents can be just as fit to be parents as some couples and it would not be right not to let them adopt. Approximately 25 percent of the adoptions of children with special needs are by single men and women (National Adoption Information Clearinghouse). They give children with special needs whose parents could not take care of them another chance at a good family. It may be difficult sometimes for single parents to raise children, but when they really love the kids it becomes a lot easier for them to manage.

Some people may say that gay people will raise gay children and so they should not be allowed to adopt. If we follow the logic that gay people raise gay children though, should not children of straight people be straight? If straight parents create straight children, then there would be no gay people. Since gay people exist and their parents are straight, we must admit that a parent’s sexuality has no effect on the sexual development of their children. Research studying lesbian and gay parents and their children explored things like the children’s wellbeing and development in many different areas. They also studied the quality of the parenting and the gender and sexual development of the children. These studies found that the sexual orientation of the parents does not affect the psychological wellbeing of children, and they also found that the sexual orientation of the parents has no effect on the child’s sexual development (Cooper and Cates 27-29*).

Even the Department of Children and Families recognizes that gays and lesbians can make fine guardians for children and routinely place foster children in homes of gay people. There is little to no difference between a child who has been raised in a traditional family and one who has been raised in a family with same-sex parents. There is no study you can find to show that children raised by same-sex couples turn out differently than they would have in a traditional family. Gay couples also adopt many more children than other groups because many cannot have biological children of their own and they give children opportunities with a real family that they would not have otherwise. Restricting gay and lesbian adoption can be harmful to children (Cooper and Cates 74).

Some people may say that gay people would not be good parents, but you cannot generalize like that just as you cannot say that single parents cannot be good parents. There are some gay people, who would not make good parents, but there are also straight people who are not good parents, and there are also single people who would not make good parents. When deciding who is fit to be a parent you have to take it on a case by case basis and you cannot generalize a group of people to say that they would not make good parents. Non-traditional families are just like any other family. They will love the children unconditionally and will care for them like any traditional parents would. If non-traditional parents are dedicated enough to do all of the extra work it takes to be a single parent or a gay couple and the work it takes to adopt a child then they likely will love the child like nobody else would.

The American Medical Association will support legislative and other efforts to allow adoption of a child by same-sex parents. The American Psychiatric Association says that sexual orientation should not be used as the sole or primary factor in child’s custody determinations. With the support of all of these medical and psychiatric associations how could we deny that same-sex parenthood is a good idea? These associations know what they are doing when they support something and to support something like same-sex adoption they must really find a lot of value in it.

Should adoption be legal for all people? Of course it should be legal. Research and every major professional group agrees that there are no reasons not to allow the groups of people discussed above to adopt children, so it should definitely be legal. These potential parents also will give children a good home and a loving environment to grow up in instead of letting them move from foster home to foster home. Adoption should be legal for all people.

(*Leslie Cooper and Paul Cates. Too High a Price: The Case Against Restricting Gay Parenting (2nd edition))

Thursday, May 18, 2006

LR Girl Danielle Closes the Gap on America's Next Top Model

Went over to Dave's last night to watch Arkansas homegirl Danielle catwalk it all the way home on America's Next Top Model. Any commitment to reality television I have I owe to Dave. Danielle is on the right in this picture.

Yeah, she has a country-soul accent (so!). She also takes great photos, walks like she was born in Milan, and has a Marine-like devotion to overcoming obstacles.

The show paid to have the gap between Danielle's two front teeth closed. She had to recover pretty much on camera. I like that she felt kind of sad to loose her gap. Proved to me she had a real sense of herself. How many people in the fashion industry would be sad to say goodbye to one of their physical "imperfections?"

Along the way Danielle did a photo shoot on top of an elephant in the jungle while suffering from food poisoning and dehydration. Not one complaint to the people she was working with and she made the shot work!

She listend to judges advice without making any excuses (Jade!). And every piece of it she got, she used without feeling judged or diminished. She saw modeling as her profession. She knew she had the tools to be good, and was committed to using all of them.

Danielle said she would pay for professional voice coaching to help with her accent, though I hope it doesn't go completely away since it is a part of who she is. She also seemed happy that her career would help her take care of her mom who is really sick. How many 20 years olds do you know who think that way?

I learned a lot from Danielle. At the beginning of the season one of the contestants was a racist, homophobic bigot from Texas. The girls were headed somewhere in a limo and the bigot started mouthing off about how surprised she was that there were so many black people around. Danielle was sitting next to her. I think Danielle's response was something like, "What's your point?" But later off camera Danielle said, "I am not gonna let this girl turn me into the angry black woman", and she didn't. The bigot was cut during episode one. What I learned was that when you face discrmination you can let it rule you, or you can keep your focus on what is important and move on. I need to remember that.

Danielle puts the "real" in the Real South. I really liked her honesty and humility. Dave and I agreed that Jade was just fooling herself (if that) with her "I'm the great undiscovered supermodel" business. Danielle and Joanie deserve an extra contract just for having to live with the woman for that long. Joanie, the runner-up will be as famous as Danielle if she ever gets used to her new "worked on" smile. I want her to succeed, too. She and Danielle would work well together.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Georgia Anti-gay Marriage Amendment Overturned

Long story short:

In 2005 Georgia citizens voted to amend their constitution to limit marriage to one man and one woman and ALSO to deny any of the "benefits of marriage" to same-sex couples. (Only the first part of the amendment showed up on the ballot.)

A superior court judge Constance Russell ruled that the amendment violated the "single subject rule" that limits amendments to addressing one subject. In the judge's opinion, defining marriage is one thing, denying any legal protections for another group of people is another.

Get ready to hear the right's whiny cries about "activist judges" which for some reason only appear when a court has made a ruling they disagree with.

From the Washington Blade via Pageoneq.com:

“Procedural safeguards such as the single subject rule rarely enjoy popular support. But, ultimately, it is those safeguards that preserve our liberties, because they ensure that the actions of government are constrained by the rule of law,” Russell wrote.

“The issues for the people with respect (to) same sex relationships are what status, if any, those relationships will have in the eyes of the law. And if they are afforded legal recognition, how they shall be treated under other laws. Those questions are distinctly different from whether same sex marriages should be allowed or recognized in this state. If the larger questions about same sex relationships are to be considered and answered, they must be presented forthrightly — not as an incidental side note to an entirely different matter,” Russell adds.

The first sentence of Amendment 1 asked Georgia voters if marriage should be defined as the union between man and woman in the state constitution. The second clause of Amendment 1, which is known as Section B and did not appear on the Nov. 2 ballot, said “no union” between persons of the same sex shall be entitled to “the benefits of marriage.”

What does the ruling mean? It allows the good people of Georgia, even if they believe only a man and a woman should be married, to say at a later time that these other kinds of families should not be discriminated against in terms of legal protections.

It is possible that some Georgians feel individuals should be able to leave their pensions to the partner they've committed their life to. Or they may believe Georgia should allow someone to receive automatic rights to visit their partner in the hospital or their partner's inheritence without distant relatives denying their ability to do so.

I believe some people are nice that way.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


As part of We Do Too: Life, Love, and Unions I've asked gay couples who have taken vows to send them to me so I can share them with visitors to the exhibition. I decided to include vows when I was asking some of my straight friends what they would want to see in an exhibition on this topic. Vows kept popping up. They didn't think gay couples took them. Below are vows that were sent to me yesterday by two guys I don't even know--Rob and Tyler. I was so touched by their pledges to one another I wanted to share them. Their ring vows are based on Song of Songs 8:6-7.

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your hand.
For our love is as strong as death,
our passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a raging flame.
Much water cannot quench our love,
neither can floods drown it.
If I were offered a nation's wealth in exchange for your love,
I would utterly scorn it.



I'll never forget that first night - sitting across the table from you - not able to keep my eyes off your beautiful eyes and smile. I stared at you and repeated the same mantra, "I'm not going to get involved with anyone." But you had different plans.

That's why, a month later when I finally admitted we were dating, I was dating a friend.

So, today, I promise you, as my spouse, my partner, and my friend, all my love; I promise to be with you, to hold your hand and smile every time you write a beautiful poem; to walk side by side on every doggy date, keeping you safe; to hold you close to me as we sing our songs to God; to cry with you when we have our daily struggles; I promise to you my support and
commitment as we become a family; and I promise all of my heart, all of my body, and all my love forever;

I love you.


Rob, God brought us together. And, I don't know how it's happened, but when you're with me, I feel like more than twice a man; and when we're apart, I am only half.

So, Rob, today I offer you my heart, promising my unconditional love, always.

I offer you my body, promising my faithfulness to you alone.

And, I offer you my mind, promising my present help in all you do.

Let nothing but death separate me from you, my one with which I am one.

They have a website of their ceremony which is equally sweet. Click here to pay them a visit.

40 Shades of Gray

I think blog entries about weather are kind of boring, but I have to comment on the blah mess we've been having here in Indy for over a week. It rains every day and pretty much all day off and on. The cloud bank seems to hover at about 50 feet, and the highs have been in the 40s and low 50s! Because it is so completely soggy everywhere, the chill goes to goes to the bone.

Everybody is pretty lethargic and/or cranky, especially Indy 500 fans since this is race month and track activities just haven't happened.

Plants seem to love it though. The 15 rose bushes I planted a few weeks ago really need the water. Hopefully we'll have some sun soon.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Ambrose and Ian--Celebrating 54 Years Together

Ambrose and Ian
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

From Bloomberg via PageoneQ

Pope Condemns Same-Sex Marriages, Describes Gay Love as `Weak'

May 11 (Bloomberg) -- Pope Benedict XVI denounced gay and civil unions, saying marriage between people of the same sex is ``weak.''

``Only the foundation of complete and irrevocable love between man and woman is capable of forming the basis of a society that becomes the home of all men,'' Benedict told a convention of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute today. The pope said ``confusing marriage with other types of weak love'' should be avoided.

"Weak love," is that what they're calling love that manages to stay together for 50+ years despite the absence of legal, societal and often family support these days?

Ambrose and Ian live in Indianapolis. They are part of the upcoming photography exhibition I'm putting together. I'd like to see Pope "I've never been married, but I know everything about it" Benedict XVI make his statement to their face.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Jennie's Big Day and Batesville Folks

Jennie and J take off
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

Here are some pictures from Jennie and J's wedding. Stacey and Dave kindly offered to let me steal some of theirs since I was sans camera. This is Jennie and J. taking off after the reception looking like they've been hired for an Estee Lauder perfume commercial. I told Jennnie how pretty her wedding portrait was (they had it at the church). She said, "Even with the glasses? They told me I could take them off, but they're me." I agree. And good for you that you weren't trying to be someone you are not on one of the most important days of your life. I think they're perfect--they scream glamorous accountant.

Jennie, Charley and Zach
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

This is Jennie with her nephews Charley and Zach, Chuck (Jennie's brother) and Stacy's kids. I love everything about this picture, especially Charley's Popeye wink. Very cute. They were ring bearers in the wedding. My opinion about young children in weddings is: If you have kids in your wedding, don't expect them to actually accomplish the tasks they are given. Just send 'em on down the aisle and enjoy the show. Charley and Zach, however, took just enough time off from their job as rowdy boys to march right down and deliver those rings to the people who needed them. Always there at crunch time, just like their dad. Impressive. It is strange for me to think that Chuck was about Charley's age, maybe a little older, when we became friends.

Here are some of the Batesville "kids" I'm always writing about. Actually we are all between the ages of 29 and 40, but we still enjoy a suspended adolescence.

Batesville Friends
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

Back row, left to right: Dave McClain, Julie McClain, Chuck McClain (brothers and sisters of the bride), Georgette Sims, Felley Nall-Lawson, and Ashley Nall-Stuckey; Middle row: Sherry Sproles and Jennifer Redmond; Front row: Robert Sproles, me, Mandy Jones-Pascoe (Adam's sister), and Lori McClain (sister of the bride)

When I look at this picture about all I see is a big bunch of love. The growing up and college years we spent together set our friendship bars pretty high. I'm never around these people without being reminded that I'm cared for no matter what. We have been known to be a little clannish when the situation calls for it. Not one of our lives has always been easy. And while we are pretty self-sufficient in a jam, we know where to go when things get too tough. When we do see each other, the fun, at least for us, does not stop. As crazy as I am about the Ozarks, it is my family and these people that will always be my true home.

I wish Jennie could have been in the picture. I think she'll be sad she wasn't, but when I saw her running out of the church in a cloud of bubbles she seemed very happy.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wednesday Weigh Down and Jennie's Wedding

Mom was down a pound. Dad was up a 1/2 a pound. And while I think Don't Ask Don't Tell is a horrible policy for the military, it is exactly the one my sister and I want for our role in this contest. At this point I'm begging either mom or dad to just reach their goal already so I don't have to post on this subject every week. I knew doing the online thing was a failure curse. But I can tell you that mom and dad look great and seem to be pretty active.

I was home this weekend for Jennie's (Trimandfashionable) wedding. We had a great time, and of course with our family and friends that means the food was good. I hope to post pictures from the wedding when Jenny sends me some. Julie, Jennie's sister (aka Gunstream Girl) was supposed to be taking pictures with her mom's camera, but she really needed to be doing Maid of Honor stuff so I took over for her. All of this means I took pictures of things I hope to post on my blog later because I forgot my camera.

The wedding was very pretty, flowers and Jennie were beautiful. And Jennie who is very organized had the service down to about 20 minutes. But poor thing, she told me her makeup artist didn't show up! This after they had done two "trial runs" earlier. And to make matters worse, when Jenny opened her shoe box the morning or her wedding, there were no shoes there! But you would never know any of that was happening if she didn't tell you. It all looked good from where I sat.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mary "Silent but Deadly" Cheney

Watched Diane Sawyer’s interview with Mary Cheney last night, the first time she’s spoken publicly about herself as a gay person.

Mary felt it was important to note that she hasn’t been muzzled all this time, just silent until it was her turn. Her turn?! If being the daughter of the second most powerful man in the free world doesn’t qualify as “your turn” what on God’s green (for the next 50 years or so) earth does? Is she waiting until she’s president?

I can’t decide if Mary Cheney’s silence (she didn’t even really say much during the interview) is enormously selfish, spineless or self-loathing. Let’s see which I can make the strongest case for?

I’ll start with self-loathing. Remember when Mary said she mouthed silent obscene insults (can’t even say those out loud) at John Kerry for mentioning the vice-president’s gay daughter during the 2005 debates? Why did that make her and her family so angry? (Thanks Diane Sawyer for letting THAT question pass by.) If Mary truly believed being gay is just the way she is, Kerry’s mention of the fact that she is gay would be like Cheney mentioning Kerry’s daughters were female or brunette. It is simply a trait of some humans. I suppose she could be trying to cover the real source of her anger-- that her own father supported an administration that worked to FURTHER limit her freedoms! Choosing not to confront her father on this issue also would make her, in my mind, self-loathing.

Or is she just spineless? When Sawyer asked if Mary ever talked to the president about his attempts to further limit gay people from being able to protect their families, all she could say was that she wasn’t sure that was the most effective way to get her message across. Got to give her that. What could possibly be more effective than saying absolutely nothing?

Sawyer asks “What would your dad say if you asked him to change “don’t ask don’t tell”?” Mary’s response? “I would never ask him to do that.” Why the heck not? Good Lord! She’s an American citizen and his daughter. Even if she knew he would say “no,” isn’t there value in forcing someone who holds a bigoted position to actually hear themselves say it out loud? Sometimes that is enough to help them change their mind.

In response to Sawyer’s question about whether or not one can be too respectful, Mary asked, “Can you be too respectful of the leader of the free world?” To which John dryly said to the television, “When he’s making the free world less free, yes!”

Whatever else she might be I think I can safely say that Mary Cheney is selfish. When asked about her perspective on Bush’s call to ban gay marriage, Mary said that in her view she and her partner are already married. They’re just waiting for state and federal law to catch up. Well, that’s fine, Mary. You just go ahead and wait. Even though you have resources and a level of access most people can only dream of, don’t put yourself out. Even though people still die alone in ICU units because their partners are denied access, even though a foster child is ripped away from the gay couple that has been their parents for 15 years, even though committed gay couples are denied over 1000 tax-related benefits enjoyed by legally married folks, don’t bother getting up. You have yours. That’s all that matters.

Let's contrast Mary "I've got mine" Cheney with a real patriot, Laurel Hester, the New Jersey police officer who spent her last lung cancer-strained dying breaths pleading with Ocean County authorities to allow her partner to receive her pension benefits just as other spouses do. Hester's last appearance (of several--she was dying of cancer the entire time) was via video because she was too sick to move. But, you're right Mary. There's absolutely no reason why cancer-riddled souls shouldn't spend their last days doing the work for you.

What a waste. As far as I’m concerned, Mary Cheney sounded better when she said nothing.

On What a 21st Century Poseidon Means

Those of you who know me know I attribute some directors with prophetic gifts or at least a unique ability to predict market forces that are somehow related to an intangible spirit of the times.

Titanic movies, and there are so many versions, have come to represent, for me at least, our human tendency to put way too much stock in our own achievements at the expense of humility, reason, and compassion. If one looks at the go-go 90s and the then prevailing sense of being able to do the impossible using any means possible, it isn’t hard to see why James Cameron’s 1997 film of the tragedy resonated with so many. The bubble about to burst may have become visible to just enough people.

Silly Troy. Everyone knows the special effects and Leo and Kate were the big draw. Be honest, special effect do not a best movie make. And was the romantic relationship really that compelling?

You may say I need to look beyond the script to the archetypal American myth that Jack was—the hard-scrabble, humble American-to-be, up-from-your-bootstraps go-getter (7 hyphens!). Yes, and he dies. And am I blinded by cynicism or did he actually sacrifice his life so the rich, aristocrat could live? Either way, Cameron gave us a nice blockbuster preview of the current mess I see us in today.

Flash forward nine years to the upcoming release of Wolfgang Peterson’s Poseidon. Itself a remake of 1972’s tragi-campy Poseidon Adventure starring the recently deceased countess of camp herself, Shelly Winters.

In the movie, an ocean liner meets an outsized tsunami (no stretch to see a connection to current events here) and pays the price. Winters plays, of all things, a former competitive swimmer in the movie (“You see Mr. Scott, in the water I’m a very skinny lady.”) Fun fact: When I was in LA for a conference I stayed at the hotel whose lobby stood in for the Poseidon’s ballroom. I nearly wet my pants when I realized it.

So what, right? So what indeed. The original Poseidon Adventure was part of a long-lived string of disaster movies (The Towering Inferno, the Airport series, The Swarm) that I think reflected a real or imagined sense of impending doom our country faced back in the 1970s. Were they a way for us to confront the large, faceless fears that seemed to plague us and our economy? Do we feel that way again now?

OR, is the net result more hopeful? After all, the academy award-winning theme song from the original Poseidon Adventure was “There’s Got to be a Morning After.”

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Zeitgeist Badge and We Do Too

Did you notice that little moving picture thingy over on the right side of my blog page? It is my Daily Zeitgeist badge. Flickr who hosts my online photos has a feature that will display all of them in a continuous stream called Zeitgeist. If you click on a picture, Flickr will bring it up on the web. I'm experimenting with using it as a way of displaying photos from a photography exhibition I'm curating. The exhibition is called We Do Too: Unions of Life and Love and will open here in Indy on June 8, 2006 at LAMP Fine Arts Gallery. It will have an online companion exhibition. I'll keep you posted on when it goes live.

Wednesday Weigh Down-The Jim and Katy Show Continues

Midweek is here and Dad lost 4 pounds and Mom lost 2, this after a weekend in Branson, MO where low-fat food is about as common as a Rhode Island tornado. I'll see them this weekend at our friend Jennie's wedding and I can't wait. I'm celebrating by eating the most wonderful linzer cookie while drinking my new favorite summer drink--iced melon white tea at Tea's Me. Dave will be irritated if I don't give him props for mentioning that he turned me on to Tea's Me. I work here a lot (free wireless) and Wayne and his wife Stacie are super fine people. Plus the tea is amazing. You'd think tea could only get so good, but, well, come on up to Indy and I'll take you there.

A message to mom and dad, people who read my blog, but don't comment have asked me to tell you that they are so proud of you and to keep up the good work.