Archives for November 2014

Advent, the First Day: Haig Club


Et cum spiritu tuo

The battles fought, the whiskies drained, the spirits
Command the day that comes, some dreamer’s dram
To celebrate the First of Advent’s billets.
With joy’s anticipation, bob the tam
And strike the colors! Marshal Haig is marching
Across the field of battle, razing, torching,
Besieging taste with texture on the tongue.
This thirdling ounce engages old and young
And makes each tender-footed Yank a hero –
How else explain the velvet smoke and peat
Awash across a mountainside replete
With heath and history. From hayrick’s harrow
The Haig provides us easy means to wait
For Corporal Christ in swaddled epaulette.

Benjamin Watson’s Facebook Post

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 12.21.39 AMNew Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson shared his thoughts about Ferguson on his Facebook timeline last night. The post is well worth reading and pondering.

At some point while I was playing or preparing to play Monday Night Football, the news broke about the Ferguson Decision. After trying to figure out how I felt, I decided to write it down. Here are my thoughts:

I’M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.

I’M FRUSTRATED, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.

I’M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I’m a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a “threat” to those who don’t know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.

I’M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.

I’M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.

I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.

I’M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I’ve seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.

I’M CONFUSED, because I don’t know why it’s so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don’t know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.

I’M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take “our” side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.

I’M HOPELESS, because I’ve lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I’m not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.

I’M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it’s a beautiful thing.

I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.

Existential Dissonance IV

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 10.17.13 AM

Existential Dissonance III

Doing heroin with my dad

Casting the Wes Anderson Love in the Ruins, #16

71XGkQ7hYkLScreen Shot 2014-11-23 at 4.50.03 PMMila Kunis as Moira.

Casting the Wes Anderson Love in the Ruins, #15

Cast member Scarlett Johansson arrives for a red carpet event for the movie "Her" at the Rome Film FestivalScreen Shot 2014-11-23 at 3.45.34 PMHello, Scarlett Johansson.

Casting the Wes Anderson Love in the Ruins, #14


Emily Blunt as Lola Rhodes, hissing as she straddles her cello. I know she’s not part of Anderson’s usual cast of players, but sometimes you have to try something new.

Casting the Wes Anderson Love in the Ruins, #13

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Adrien Brody as Father Smith (who is described as resembling Ricardo Montalban)

Casting the Wes Anderson Love in the Ruins, #12

Danny Glover

Danny Glover as Colley Wilkes

Today in Pseudonyms

Korrektiv Dream

I had this dream last night: I’m staying at a lodge or country inn somewhere. Bunk beds. Quin is there. The rest of the Korrektiv gang, with spouses, children, etc., are somewhere nearby. The scene changes. We’re going to mass and it’s a lesser-major feast day. Pentecost or something. It seems we are in Walla Walla now and the location of the church feels like that of St. Paul’s Episcopal (but it’s Catholic) and the church feels like some other church I’ve been in, or possibly only dreamed about, in the past. The altar is in the middle, surrounded by sections of pews arranged around it at right angles. It’s crowded. I’ve got my wife and kids and a passel of others including twin boys (possibly twin, possibly not, it doesn’t matter) reminiscent of the twins on “Suite Life on Deck.” The boys are perhaps thirteen or fourteen. They’re acting out, horsing around, causing a commotion. After a couple of minutes, I lose all patience and grab one of them roughly by the lapels, whisper threats, cause an even more embarrassing scene. Big Jon Bully and his entourage show up and settle into a pew on the other side of the altar. My youngest daughter sees them and excitedly scrambles over, right through the middle of the altar servers and other official sacramental personnel making their preparations for Mass to begin. It begins. I wake up.

Shakespeare on Ice*

puck on ice 1

“Thou speak’st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.”

*Taken at the Kohl Center at the opening game of Wisconsin Badger’s basketball season. They played Northern Kentucky University, whose coach happens to be the husband of a good family friend. At any rate, the NKU “Norsemen” lost to the Badgers, 31-62.

Casting the Akira Kurosawa The Last Gentleman, #8

Takashi_ShimuraTakashi Shimura as Forney Aiken

Casting the Akira Kurosawa The Last Gentleman, #7

Daisuke_KatoDaisuke Kato as Mr. Vaught

Casting the Akira Kurosawa The Last Gentleman, #6

Kyōko_KagawaKyoko Kagawa as Sister Val Vaught

Casting the Akira Kurosawa The Last Gentleman, #5

Yuzo_KayamaYuzo Kayama as Jamie Vaught

Casting the Akira Kurosawa The Last Gentleman, #4

Toshiro_MifuneToshiro Mifune as Dr. Sutter Vaught

Casting the Akira Kurosawa The Last Gentleman, #3

Isuzu_YamadaIsuzu Yamada as Rita Vaught