Monthly Archives: December 2006

Resolutions for 2007

To be continued . . .
In 2007 I resolve to improve my physical health and fitness, by increasing my strength and aerobic capacity, and by losing excess weight.   will keep track of my progress here, to have a record and to keep myself honest.   Wish me luck!

So True!

Very familiar . . .


Tsunami Anniversary

Two years ago this week, a tsunami killed thousands of people in southeast Asia. Here is a website collecting Internet Resources about this disaster. Tsunamis may be caused by any one of several geological factors.
Pause this evening in respect for the people who were swept away by this unimaginably huge wave.


Boxing Day

December 26, the day after Christmas, is known as Boxing Day. It’s a holiday mostly observed in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. It’s also St. Stephen’s Day. For some, it’s a chance to honor an early Christian martyr, for others it’s an extra day off, and at the mall, it’s a huge shopping day.


Love, Actually

It’s Christmas Eve, time to watch the movie Love, Actually my favorite Christmas movie. But first, we have a spate of mix-ups and problems to get through. Nora came home for a week, arriving at the Greensboro airport this morning. Unfortunately, after the Official PickerUpper left to get her, I told him to go to the Raleigh airport instead . . . and then said “oops! Never mind!” So back he went (another 2 hours) to Greensboro. Meanwhile, Aunt Emily in Atlanta has gone to the emergency room with a possible concussion . . . stay tuned.

North Carolina Mountains

Are they really this beautiful?


A Great Day in Harlem

Cultural Literacy – 23 December 2006.

A Great Day in Harlem is the name of a wonderful 1958 photograph of 57 jazz musicians, taken by Art Kane. The photo has also been the subject of a documentary that well worth viewing.


Cultural Literacy – “things you really should know”

Rita Hayworth – Whoa.

From the Den of Chaos comes this one –

Which classic screen goddess are you?

You scored as Rita Hayworth.
You’re the one who has the most fun. People are attracted to you because you don’t pretend to be anything but what you are. You know you are attractive and like to play on that – which makes you even sexier. However, when it calls for you to be serious, like Rita, you need to know that only hard work will get success.

August Afternoon in Orange County

I took this on Richard Lane, north of Hillsborough.

Raleigh-Based Ministry for Gay Evangelical Christians

12 December 2006 – Today’s NY Times has a front page article about, a ministry for gay Christians started by a Raleigh man. The article, highlights the dilemma often faced by gay Christians –

“Justin Lee believes that the Virgin birth was real, that there is a heaven and a hell, that salvation comes through Christ alone and that he, the 29-year-old son of Southern Baptists, is an evangelical Christian. Just as he is certain about the tenets of his faith, Mr. Lee also knows he is gay, that he did not choose it and cannot change it. . . . Gay evangelicals seem to have few paths carved out for them: they can leave religion behind; they can turn to theologically liberal congregations that often differ from the tradition they grew up in; or they can enter programs to try to change their behavior, even their orientation, through prayer and support. But as gay men and lesbians grapple with their sexuality and an evangelical upbringing they cherish, some have come to accept both.”

Many gay Christians are still taught that their natural sexual orientation is inherently sinful. I can’t imagine how it feels to be told that your own nature is evil, and it’s infuriating that that some churches that preach such a gospel. Perhaps someday Christian congregations will embrace all worshipers, as I believe Jesus intended. Meanwhile, I hope this ministry will be a source of fellowship and support for gay Christians.

Federal Government to Ban Holiday Motif Sweaters

And not a moment too soon! You know the monstrosities of which I speak? Bulky cardigans plastered over with embroidered, sequined, and otherwise “embellished” Symbols of the Season? December in an office job is just one sparklysweater after another.

Exhibit A:holidaysweaters.jpg

Which Tarot Card Are You?

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

I know this is silly, but it’s fun and the cards are pretty!
Here is mine:

You are The Star

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised

The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you’re a dreamer, but you’re not the only one.

Misleading Article in NC State Bar Journal

There is an article that is wrong-wrong in the current issue of the state bar journal. It makes two basic points, both misleading and false. One is that Brady v. Marylond, rather than requiring prosecutors to disclose favorable evidence, gives them the privilege to decide whether the prosecutor considers the favorable evidence sufficiently “material” to hand over. This is incorrect. Materiality is not the standard for disclosure, but the after-the-fact review standard for assessing the effect or prejudice from the prosecutor’s misconduct.

Even worse, the article opines that, inasmuch as there is a new open-file discovery statute in place, there is no longer any basis for a moratorium on capital punishment.

For various reasons, it would not be prudent for me to be the person who publicly responds to this article. But, someone needs to!

Setting for Imaginary TV Show

Raleigh House – Setting for Imagined TV Show

I walk past this house every day. It’s divided into apartments, each with a large 12 x 12 foot porch. Every day I imagine it as the perfect setting for a television show, with a cast carefully chosen to be “diverse” in every possible way. At the beginning of the program all the tenants would come out on their respective porches. Let’s see . . . there would be a young couple in one apartment, perhaps with a baby; maybe a couple of young and unmarried people in another; an old person in one; non-English speaking people in one apartment; perhaps a reclusive sort in one unit; or an animal nut in one; oh, and one apartment would have a person who is attracted to someone in another apartment, allowing for their gradual courtship. Of course, the tenants would also be nicely assorted as to racial or ethnic identity, sexual orientation, and political viewpoint. It would begin and end and often take place on those wonderful porches. Can’t you just see it?

One more thing – I totally photoshopped that picture. I took it at dusk on a cloudy day from a parking lot, then deleted most of the parking lot, brightened it all up, and added that glorious blue sky. I’ll post the original sometime.

So – what should the show be called? Who should star?

Tupac sleeping in the sunlight

I love the almost translucent ear.


SpanishMoss, Taken in McClellansville, South Carolina

dusty street, hot hot afternoon

It was over 100 degrees when I took the banner photo at the top of the page, and the group of trees just above. It was July in McClellansville, South Carolina. It was so hot, and mosquitoes were so thick you could brush them off, and if you thought about it too closely you’d get the creeps and start dancing and saying eek! It was so humid that – oh, forget it. It was uncomfortable, okay? But I love the pictures from that day, and this is one of them.

take a deep breath . . . then another

It’s December, the time when relentless advertising urges us to buy expensive gifts for everyone we know, and churches implore us to experience “the true meaning” of the holidays. And, everywhere are images of a *perfect family* enjoying a *perfect Christmas* where the only problem is guessing which neighbor is getting the Lexus with the big red ribbon.

Where does that leave the rest of us? – you know, the real people in real families, where people have faults, where family history includes disappointments and secrets as well as singalongs, and mom and dad can’t afford a new Lexus? It leaves us in a world of hurt if we don’t watch out.

In December all the chickens come home to roost, including birds you thought you’d kicked out of the barnyard years ago. Ancient resentments and problems jump on a Greyhound in time to sneak into your house by December 10 or so. Their battle cry is a high-pitched “It’s not fair!” And, it isn’t. It’s not fair that Christmas is hard for you because your parents divorced, or the kids are bratty, your brother is an alcoholic, your mom is always criticizing, you have to hide your real life from your family, or dad likes your older sister best. It’s not fair that your family will never go to church with you, or that they insist on going to church five times a day, or that you have to go to the other grandparents this year, that it never snows, that Santa isn’t real.

So okay, things aren’t fair. But, we deal with life’s inequities pretty well all year. Why do we fall apart in December? I think it’s because from infancy we’re brainwashed to think that in some mysterious way our lives and families will (cue twinkly harp music) become *perfect* at Christmas time.

In fact, the opposite occurs. As far as I can tell, everyone gets weird at Christmas time, and the overall level of agitation and anxiety enters the red zone. So, possess your soul with patience. Take a deep breath. Cut yourself a break. Forgive your nutty relatives, friends, and co-workers. They’re doing the best they can, and they’ll be back to normal in January.

Ys by Joanna Newsom

Aaron, this one’s for you. Take everything that is in the bones of Appalachia, the essence of Shakespeare, and the core of purity. Add a touch of sly humor, and the literate sensibility and integrity of a poet, a beautiful poet who writes the lyrics and plays the harp. Lyrics rendered in a strange but engaging little voice, like what you might imagine a wood sprite would sound like.

Do this and you will have Ys, the new cd by Joanna Newsom. Here is the cover: