Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Our Latest American Hero #130

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
A new year with a new President, and the same old drums continue to beat. It's 28 days into January, and 29 of our soldiers have died in the war on terrorism this month. No doubt you are no longer interested in such things. It certainly feels like the news isn't.

So sharing a recent death with you, my 130th, these random pics still fail to depict the 5,000 + fatalities; they only represent and hopefully remind us that we are still at war with all of its tragic consequences.

Marine Lance Cpl. Julian T. Brennan, 25, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Jan. 24 while supporting combat operations in Farah province, Afghanistan.

"Lejeune Marine Dies In Afghanistan"

He aspired to be in show business, the newspaper reported.

Brennan was a “real swell kid, a very good-looking boy who was the darling of the girls,” family friend Charles Marahan told the Daily News. “Jules was made for the stage and the movies. You either have it or you don’t, and he had it.”

Brennan earned an associate’s degree from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan and worked on the Martha Stewart show before joining the Corps, the newspaper reported. He was on his first deployment.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow DAY!

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
The thing all teachers live for; and frankly, I didn't see this gift coming. My image was a trip to school, and early dismissal, and commute home from HELL...

But gratefully it was a gracious day instead.

So what's a body to do? I've squandered plenty of days in my life. Felt more ambitious today. Went to Mark's Kitchen for a quite brunch and read through some essays for work. Then to the National Gallery of Art on the Mall in DC via the Metro.

NGA was practically empty! I can't remember the last time I was able to spend hours touring an exhibit without any sense that I was in anyone's way or tired of the inane babble of those around me. It was a gift.

Afrerwards I walked the Mall in the lightly falling snow and ended up at the Freer Gallery of Art for a lazy visit to this quietest of all gems. Snow days rock!

Art I'm Seeing #35

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
The National Gallery hits another one out of the park with it's swing at "Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples". From the get go you enter gallery spaces transformed to take you to Roman villas in Early August 79 CE. The gardens and dwellings with their statuary, mosiacs, bas-reliefs, miniture bronze deities, and jewlery lay before you a record of a people on the verge of annihilation in the midst of exuberant, extravigant, indulgent LIFE.

When an exhibit imparts knowledge and challenges one's thinking like a university survey course you know you've spent your $5 bucks for the audio commentary well. And I would add this observation -- the busts and images of the rulers were all judged against my BBC database of images from "I CLAVDIVS" A perspective that I completely forgave myself for when watching the video presentation that accompanies the exhibition which is narrated by Derek Jacobi!

For all admirers of Ancient Rome, this is a must see.

Illuminated Art

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
While you're at the National Gallery be sure to traverse the underground walkway between the East and West Buildings to experience this installation piece by Leo Villareal as it dazzles and enchants.

Meet The New Members of United States Senate

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
Meet the freshmen class of United States Senators for the 111th congress.

13 men and women are joining this august body of legislators. All but 1 are Democrats. (You may recall in 2006 the freshmen in the Senate of the 110th congress, ushered in 11 new members with again only 1 Republican.) Demographically the Senate goes from 16% female to 17% female, from 3% Hispanic to 2% Hispanic, and remains 1% African American and 2% Asian American.

From Top to Bottom and Left to Right in Alphabetically order the new Senators are:

MarK Begich, 46, of ALASKA ~ Formerly the Mayor of Anchorage

Michael Bennet, 43, of COLORADO ~ Formerly the Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools

Roland Burris, 71, of ILLINOIS ~ Formerly the Attorney General of Illinois

Al Franken, 57, of MINNESOTA ~ Formerly syndicated radio talk show host

Kirsten Gillibrand, 42, of NEW YORK ~ Formerly Congress woman from the 24th House Seat from the state of New York

Kay Hagan, 55, of NORTH CAROLINA ~ Formerly North Carolina state Senator from the 27th senatorial district

Mike Johanns, 58, of NEBRASKA ~ Formerly the 28th United States Secretary of Agriculture

Ted Kaufman, 69, of DELAWARE ~ Formerly a longtime advisor to his predecessor, Senator Joseph Biden

Jeff Merkley, 52, of OREGON ~ Formerly the Speaker of the Oregon state House of Representatives from the 47th district

Jeanne Shaheen, 62 (as of tomorrow!), of NEW HAMPSHIRE ~ Formerly the Governor of New Hampshire

Mark Udall, 58, of COLORADO ~ Formerly Congress man from the 2nd House Seat from the state of Colorado

Tom Udall, 60, of NEW MEXICO ~ Formerly Congress man from the 3rd House Seat from the state of New Mexico

Mark Warner, 54, of VIRGINIA ~ Formerly the Governor of Virginia

Monday, January 26, 2009

Are We Human Or Are We Dancer?

Emily Troutman's wonderful video about the words that describe the way people felt at the Inauguration of President Obama.

President Obama: Words for How We Feel Now from Emily Troutman on Vimeo.

In the artist's own words:

"This week I made my way around Washington, D.C. and asked hundreds of people to pick words to represent how they feel now, at the dawn of a new beginning for the United States. Participants chose from 26 words:

"Alive, Angry, Anxious, Awed, Believe, Curious, Dancer, Excited, Grateful, Happy, Hopeful, Human, Humble, Jealous, Joyful, Love, Obama, Patient, Proud, Ready, Scared, Skeptical, Tired, Together, Wonder, Worried"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What I'm Listening To #48

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
"Viva La Vida" by Coldplay is up for a Grammy as best album of the year. It's a great album. Full of ideas, full of music that grabs you and takes you to its heart.

My Top 5 tracks:

1) Death And All His Friends
2) Life In Technicolor
3) Viva La Vida
4) Lovers In Japan/Reign Of Love
5) 42

Bon Chance, Coldplay!

Zoology 101 - Obamanation Day 6!

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
So many ideas swimming in my head with these images....where to begin~!? These are adverts for the Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart, Germany. They are delightfully tongue-in-cheek science and remind me that we are about celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his seminal work, "On the Origin of Species". Wouldn't he be puzzled at these images? And I for one am thankful for an explanation of the origin of the platypus!

But seriously, this also brought me home with more gratitude than I can express for our new President. In less that a week by the power of the pen, Barack Obama has:

1) Brought an end to government secrecy.

2) Ended our insane use of torture--we are no longer Nazi's! (And don’t fool yourselves, to millions of Muslims around the world our tactics at GITMO and the clandestine prisons in Poland, Romania and God knows where else were seen as no different, no less evil and unGodly.)

3) Returned sanity and reason to our support of population control around the world. [No one likes abortion, but what those who use it as a moral litmus test fail to realize or accept is that a woman has a right to determine how to control the results of unwanted pregnancy. And while those pregnancies can continue to be reduced in our nation by education and contraceptives, in too many places in the world woman remain chattel. And in FAR TOO MANY other places they are used as instruments of warfare in which rape is an assault intended on enslaving, disenfranchising and (where HIV is a part of the equation) genociding enemies.

[These are many of the places that our Family Planning Aid money is going to. In these settings abortion can be the lesser of a myriad of evils. No one likes abortion, but abortion is not the worst thing that can happen to a potential life.

[I watched the righteous few wander around the Mall in Washington D.C. this past week protesting Roe V Wade's anniversary: Pasty-white middle class Americans who have never lifted so much as a finger to feed a starving infant in the poverty stricken corners of this world. Yet they are God's minions who know that abject pain and suffering is God's will for the innocent. They sadden me....but I digress. I warned you. I have many ideas swimming all around my giddy head tonight.]

4) Stem Cell science returns to America! Rejoice my beloved friend who is suffering from MS; rejoice all you living with ALS, rejoice all of us with Alzheimer’s in our genealogies. JUST BE HAPPY, science is back in vogue!

5) Rejoice planet earth. States can now decide how to regulate the befoulment of the air that their citizens breathe. Take that Federal Judges appointed by pro-corporation administrations.... I'm already breathing easier.

And so the Asian tapir has an elephant as a mother and a panda as a daddy...

Who knew?

What I'm Watching #183

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
"Lilies" is a Canadian film from 1996. It is based on a play and it's about a play. A play that takes place at a prison in Quebec in 1952 where a Bishop has come to hear the confession of a childhood friend whom he believes to be critically ill. Once he there inside the chapel the Bishop is taken hostage and made to witness a play that recounts the events of 40 years earlier and the circumstances that led to his friend's incarceration. As the play begins the laws of time and space fad away from the limits of the chapel.

It's a densely written magical film. Shakespearian in theme, and played by a cast exclusively male as if to punctuate this feeling. The performances run the gamut from lush to innocent and all with a certain intensity that keeps you gratefully engaged from start to finish. Bravo!

Art I Plan To See

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
Just got this postcard from my friend Doug. He's about to open a new show of his paintings at the Philadelphia Cathedral. The show opens February 5th and goes to the end of the month. If this photo from his sketchbook is any indication, fans of Louis Morris and color in general are in for a treat. The exhibition is aptly titled "Joseph's Coat."

Check it out.

Today's Sermon #10

Originally uploaded by Randuwa

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rest in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

~ Wendell Berry
1934 -

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Random Quote #101

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
“It was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very, clear looking backward 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards.

“So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: Your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road, will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path; and that will make all the difference.”

~ Steve Jobs, 1955 -

Quotable Quotes for 2009

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
The New Yorker hits another cover homerun! Barack is quickly re-establishing the ideals of our founding fathers. Under the Bush years we were invited to be self-serving and slovenly and told that this was patriotic. We were exposed to fear for the sake of creating not a brave citizenry, but a powerful administration. It was a tactic which too many Americans accepted having never been taken advantage of on such a large and consistent scale before in their lives by elected leaders. What Bush/Chaney did to us makes Nixon’s petty deceits assume their trivial place in American history.

As we face a new day for our nation’s adherence to and exploration of the Constitution, it is an act of utter blessing to compare the words of Barack Hussein Obama in these nacent days of his presidency with those of our first President.


“Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.”
~ George Washington, 1732 - 1799

"This is me following through on not just a commitment I made during the campaign, but I think an understanding that dates back to our founding fathers, that we are willing to observe core standards of conduct, not just when it's easy but also when it's hard...the message we are sending around the world is that the United States intends to prosecute the ongoing struggle against violence and terrorism, and we are going to do so vigilantly; we are going to do so effectively; and we are going to do so in a manner that is consistent with our values and our ideals..."
~ Barack Hussein Obama, 1961 -


“Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.”
~ George Washington, 1732 - 1799

“However long we are keepers of the public trust we should never forget that we are here as public servants and public service is a privilege.  It's not about advantaging yourself.  It's not about advancing your friends or your corporate clients.  It's not about advancing an ideological agenda or the special interests of any organization.  Public service is, simply and absolutely, about advancing the interests of Americans.”
~ Barack Hussein Obama, 1961 -


“Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.”
~ George Washington, 1732 - 1799

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
~ Barack Hussein Obama, 1961 -

Lego Factory Series #11

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
A friend recently asked me about my Lego® building models and if I keep them or tear them down. I am keeping them. Here's what they look like together in the form of a city block.

In the world of Lego mathematics, the standard square building plate is 32 x 32 pegs. The block is designed at 160 x 64 pegs (5 plates long and 2 plates deep).

The top image shows buildings that are completely of my creation; only the first two in the bottom photo are mine. The rest of purchased kits that I have altered by combining multiple kits to increase building height/width. These kits were my inspiration for the rest.

I'm imagining another block and currently working through the design of an apartment with Chinese restaurant below, and a movie theatre with stage capabilities. Brownstones also interest me.

I'm telling you. You want to give a gift that will inspire a kid to imagine and create?--then buy Legos® by all means.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What I'm Watching #182

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
Keeping with my recent viewings a first commerically distributed films with gay themes from the United States and the United Kingdom, I add this German film from 1977. "Die Konsequenz" is the story of Martin who has been sent to a minimal security jail after being convicting of intimate relations with a boy of 15. There, he is pursued by Thomas the 17 year old son of one of the prison guards. The rest of the movie is about the consequences of their relationship. Most of which are not good.

With both "A Very Natural Thing" (1973 US) and "Nighthawks" (1978 UK), the actors fell into obscurity if not completely off of the face of the earth. While this film's principles remain gainfully employed to this day. Jurgen Prochnow who portrays the older Martin has actually gone on to have lesser roles in movies like "The English Patient" and "The DaVinci Code". Like the other two films from this era of budding liberation, "Die Konsequenz" depicts a world that is without external systemic support, a world where the strength of individual conviction is the only source of strength.

We've come so far in such a short period of time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Best Day Ever!

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
I was not one of the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people who truly braved bone-chilling temperatures to be on the Mall today. I substituted the immediacy of playing an insignificant role in this historic event for the awesomeness of witnessing its full spectacle on TV.

There were actually moments in the past 8 years when I despaired of ever redeeming my beloved America from the clutches of idiots, imbeciles, evil cynical manipulators, war mongers, fear mongers, racists, homophobes, misogynists, moralists who's power alone surpassed their hypocrisy. They robbed us of our good name among the nations. They raped us of our resources and solvency. They pillaged their personal foes at the expense of our greatest human resources with lies and means that were without scruples.

Did you see how George-the-Lesser looked like a buffoon on the stage today? In his dry-drunk world of self-delusion, could he even fail to see today as a national indictment upon his Presidency? Could anyone be that stupid?

And you know what? I feel so FUCKING happy that this chapter is closed. My joy is only surpassed by my sense of hope for Obama. (This must be what it feels like to be manic-depressive....)




Monday, January 19, 2009

12 Views of Washington, DC on the day before the Inauguration of BarackObama as our 44th President of the United States of America!; View #1

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
Looking up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. Snow and hope in the air...

View #2

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
There is no end to the advise being offered to our next president.

This electronic message board at a Federal Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue is only one example.

It reads:

"$177,042,948.44" [DC Residents Federal Tax Dollars Paid]


"Yes You Can Let DC Vote"

What can I say? AMEN!

View #3

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
Chisled above a door at a Commerce building near the Mall:

"Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair"

~ Washington.

May it once again be so!

View #4

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
Commerce thrives....

View #5

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
An actor portraying Abraham Lincoln at the Smithsonian Museum of American History is swamped by guests for a photo op.

View #6

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
The Jumbotron before the Washington Monument at 17th Street broadcasts Marion Anderson singing "My County 'Tis Of Thee".

View #7

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
Two visitors to the Mall dance with abandon as the Jumbotrons' blare the reggae anthem "One World" performed on the previous day live at the concert "We Are One" by Will I. Am among others.

View #8

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
What goes up must come down! Workers disassemble the stage at the Lincoln Memorial the day after the Inaugural Concert "We Are One".

View #9

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
The reflecting pond from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument. A Metaphor? Frozen and unable to reflect our images in this present dark night of the American soul? If so, don't worry, "There's a change in the air!"

View #10

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
The crowds reminded me in number of the Cherry Blossom festival or the Folkways Summer Expositions. In composition, they were unique in my experience of nearly 15 years here in DC. At any other event that I have ever attended on the Mall (America's backyard) the ratio of Black Americans rarely reaches 1 in 20. Today, I was thrilled to see 50% of the people were African American.

From utter disenfranchisement to enthusiastic participation may not bring change overnight to heal this nation's deep wounds of racism, but until the wounded both feel and respond to a hope greater than the system--a hope NOT beholden to me, a white guy, and my perceived power and role in racist oppression, change will not occur.

There are jokes a plenty about Obama being a Messiah. Of course, in a religious context that's blasphemous. Yet, in a cultural way, he really is.

It's been a long time coming...and thank God, I am alive to see it happen!

View #11

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
The bleachers and phalanxes of barriers on the plaza right behind the White House. I presume that this will be where the Obama's view the parade.

View #12

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
"Change: All eyes are on you" A floor mural/message at the Farragut West Metro station alligned so that everyone exiting the station for the Inaugural events can read it as they walk over it.

Nothing like pressure!

It's Alive!

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
The poster for Hope has taken on a life of it's own. I find such creative interest hopeful.....not helpful.

Today's (Sunday's) Sermon #8

You're about to go to church! Can I get a witness?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Yes We Can

Yesterday, I posted a video poking a stick at the old, today let's shine a light on the present. Our dumb night of the national soul is almost over.

Yes We Can Obama Song by Will.I.Am

Friday, January 16, 2009

Die Du So

Something new from Rivo Drei! I love this German band. Their music is so utterly vicseral.

I don't speak German--or much of it; but then I hold tenuous claim to any of the languages I dabble in: Latin, French, Spanish, Mandarin, Italian, Portuguese, English. Yet it doesn't stop me from listening to music sung in or waching films spoken in any of those languages and Moldavian, Swedish, Russian, Japanese, and Dutch besides. The truth prevails. I experience the Joy, the Sorrow, the Anger, and the Mercy. And of all mediums, music transcends the linguistic barrier most perfectly.

Tanks For The Memories....

Homages can be hell....

Fortunate Friday!

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
After a long week at work, I decided to stop by a local Chinese Take Out for dinner. My choice was influenced by my need for gas, and so I went to Panda China off of Riggs Road nearest to the closest Shell station to my home. Immediately it was apparent that while it was 14˚ outside, inside this store front establishment it had to be all of 18˚! They had NO heat. I made my order and waited. And waited, and waited....and froze and still waited.

Naturally, most people would have left at the first sign of no heat; but having lived in China, I'm more tolerant of such things--they add a layer of authenticity to the restaurant.

When the food came, the hostess added two sodas gratis to apologize for the wait. And, as if to add icing to the cake, the fortune cookie offered this blessings: "You look pretty". Ha! Don't we all?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lego Factory Series #10

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
My latest creation inspired by the current urban buildings series is based on the Polish consulate built in New York City in the 19th century.

What I'm Watching #181

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
After watching the first commercially distributed gay themed film made in the United States, "A Very Natural Thing," I watched the first commercially distributed gay themed film made in the United Kingdom: "Nighthawks."

And, like, WOW.

The U.S. entry was made in 1973; the Brits weighed in five years later in 1978. The comparison ought forever dispel the notion of a liberal European ethos.

In a nutshell: the film demonstrates 1) why there was a closet, 2) why emulating Judeo-Christian heterosexual mores is like fitting a square peg into a round hole, and finally, 3) how breaking ground in this arena in the 70's was a career killer!

Only anthropologists, sociologists, and gay film buffs need apply.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Senatorial Reality Check

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
Roland Burris is about to be sworn in as only the 6th Black member of the Senate. How is that a bad thing? Rod Blogoavich is an ego-maniacal syncophant with delusions of devine predestination--i.e. a spoiled freaking brat without limitations: Shame on BOTH of his PARENTS.

But why should Roland Burris be a victim when Blogo did his terchiary legal duty in appointing him? Such a legal act may not have been Rod's desire, but after the lights were turned on, he acted with propriety. Assign blame later. The act was and is lawful.

So enter Roland Burris into one of the most exclusive of exclusive clubs--no wonder he is photographed with a shit-wide smile! Who can blame him? In 232 years only 6 African Americans have served in the U.S.Senate and none together to that the percentage of representation has never risen above 1%. While the population of Black Americans has never dropped below 10%.

Here are photos of the 6. Can you name them?

Left to Right, here are their stories in brief:

1) Hiram Rhodes Revels (September 27, 1822 – January 16, 1901) was the first African American to serve in the United States Senate. Since he preceded any African American in the House, he was the first African American in the U.S. Congress as well. He represented Mississippi.

2) Blanche Kelso Bruce (March 1, 1841 – March 17, 1898) was an American politician. Bruce represented Mississippi as a Republican U.S. Senator from 1875 to 1881 and was the first Black American to serve a full term in the U.S. Senate.

3) Edward William Brooke, III (born October 26, 1919), is an American politician and was the first African American to be elected by popular vote to the United States Senate when he was elected as a Republican from Massachusetts in 1966, defeating his Democratic opponent, Endicott Peabody, 58%–42%. He was also the first African American elected to the Senate since the 19th century, and would remain the only person of African heritage sent to the Senate in the 20th century until Democrat Carol Moseley Braun in 1993. He remains, as of 2008, the last Republican senator from Massachusetts.

4) Carol Elizabeth Moseley Braun (born August 16, 1947) is an American politician and lawyer who represented Illinois in the United States Senate from 1993 to 1999. She was the first, and to date, the only, African-American woman elected to the United States Senate, the first African-American senator to be elected as a Democrat, the first woman to defeat an incumbent senator in an election, and the first female senator from Illinois. From 1999 until 2001, she was the United States Ambassador to New Zealand. She briefly participated as a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2004 U.S. presidential election.

5) Barack Hussein Obama II; born August 4, 1961) is the President-elect of the United States of America, and the first African-American to be elected President of the United States. Obama was the junior United States Senator from Illinois in 2004 and served until his resignation on November 16, 2008, following his election to the Presidency. His term of office as the forty-fourth U.S. president is scheduled to begin on January 20, 2009.

6) Roland Wallace Burris (born August 3, 1937) is a Democratic American politician and former statewide officer in the U.S. state of Illinois. Burris served as Comptroller of Illinois from 1979 to 1991 and as Attorney General of Illinois from 1991 to 1995. On December 30, 2008, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) announced he was naming Burris to fill the seat in the United States Senate vacated weeks earlier by President-elect Barack Obama.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tattoo Dreaming #9

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
From Aztec to Art Deco. It's a commitment to art no matter how you categorize it.

Tarot Time: Death

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
The cards teach us that death is only a transition. And while it manifests itself in ways that are violent to the heart, Birth is also violent.

After learning of Midge's transition to Ancestry, I got an email from my cousin Trish that her father and my uncle Carrol had died.

And then this afternoon, while napping, I was suddenly awakened with a chilling deathly sensation in my chest and images of Carrol and Midge in my thoughts. Who's to say what that was all about?

Something new is about to happen, something that will replace without challenge what was before.

What I'm Watching #180

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
"A Very Natural Thing" is a movie made at a time (1973) and about a subject (Gay Life) that automatically distinguishes it as anthropologically important. It's been described as the gay response to the 1970 straight iconoclast 'Love Story". And I don't find hubris in that comparison.

The story follows the coming out of David. He leaves a monastery and moves to NYC. There he meets Michael and they attempt a life together that lasts about 3 years before failing due to Michael’s wanderlust. Next, David meets Jason at the 1973 Pride Parade/Celebrations and the process of becoming a couple starts over again. Jason's journey has led him from his first marriage to a woman to wanting a life with another man.

So now Jason is the instigator, but a wiser David keeps things in perspective. The final scene of Jason and David playing in the surf of the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Cod adorns the cover and is an amazingly beautiful finale to the film.

The movie is stark in its portrayal of sex between men. Bold and I'm certain shocking for its time (FORGET "Last Tango in Paris," and "Midnight Cowboy"--they are sad wannabees.)

Of the three principal actors:

Michael - Curt Gareth ~ Was never heard from again
David - Robert Joel ~ Died in 1992 from AIDS
Jason - Bo White ~ Last acted in a bit part in 2004

"A Very Natural Thing" is a very important act of cinema. All three men took part in a statement of personhood that deserves to be seen and remembered.

Tattoo Dreaming #8

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
The Aztecs would be honored.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I LOVES Me Some Dan Savage!

In for a penny this for a pound.

Merry 15 Days After Christmas!

I know....I'm late with this little Holiday Cheer. But better late than never!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Midge O'Brien RIP

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
I learned yesterday of the passing into ancestory of a dear friend. This picture goes back to the mid/late 1980's when we first met on a summer paint crew for the Fayette County Kentucky Public Schools. At the time she was working as a teacher's aid and painting to keep the hourly wages coming. A native of Wisconsin, I'm convinced it was our Great Lakes backgrounds that cemented our bonds of friendship.

There are so many stories that I am currently swimming through as I grieve. But suffice it to say that Midge tought me 1) The most valuable lesson of parenthood is "letting go", 2) No object is ever more important than any person, and 3) no matter that you have no matterial thing, you can still transform others with your presence.

Tonight I really cried.

Be at peace, Midge, and soar!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Originally uploaded by Randuwa
to Senator-elect Al Franken and his family on his triumph in the 2008 Minnesota Senatorial contest.

You go AL!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

What I'm Watching #179

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
Am I getting more sentimental in my middle age, or are the movies?

This is a beautifully told and acted story of two men who need to come to peace with themselves and their relationship to the "fathers" in their lives. Paul Preiss gives an exceptional performance as Nate.

Put it on your Netflick list, you won't be disappointed.

Today's Sermon #9

Originally uploaded by Randuwa

He told me of a river bright;
it flows from him to me,
that I might be for his delight
a fair and fruitful tree.

~ Rabindranath Tagore, 1861-1941

Saturday, January 03, 2009

What I'm Listening To #47

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
"The Bird And The Bee" are Inara George and Greg Kurstin. I bought this CD on the strength of a totally kick-ass, techno-dance version of "Fucking Boyfriend" that I chanced upon online.

It's NOT the version that is recorded on this disc. Shame, really.....

Friday, January 02, 2009

Random Quote #100

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
"To love the king is not bad, but a king who loves you is better."

~ Wolof Proverb, African

Tattoo Dreaming #7

Originally uploaded by Randuwa