Friday, December 29, 2006

The 2006 You Didn't Hear About

While many of the big stories in 2006 were bad news, there were hundreds of activist successes in 2006 that permanently changed the world.
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Activists won dozens of small and not-so-small victories for human rights and the environment in 2006. The fabric of the world is woven out of small gestures . . .
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. . . the grim superpowers of militaries and corporations can be resisted, and that the power of small activist groups, of workers, of citizens, of indigenous tribes, of people of conscience matters. 2007 will be a very interesting year.
Read all of The 2006 You Didn't Hear About
by Rebecca Solnit ~ AlterNet ~ December 29, 2006

Christmas present ...

Alec on Christmas morning.

Noel and his present Born to Kvetch by Michael Wex from Catherine.

Catherine called this one which she took "drama queen."
I can't imagine why.
I played with the background on this one just for fun.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Memorization, Standardized Tests, and Official Policy

Teaching answers to standardized tests should not be called "education," especially when problem-solving will be the most important tool for a generation of students destined to inherit the incredible problems we will leave as our legacy.
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Rote memorization of answers to tests will not prepare anyone for this mess we leave. Furthermore, it defies logic to insist that our answers are the ones that should be memorized. Many of our answers have been abject failures, and those of our government have been criminal.

Better we teach our children no answers - only questions and suspicions, courage and insight to detect official ideology. They will need wisdom beyond ours to rebuild our trusted position of leadership in a peaceful world - to restore environmental health to a wounded planet - and to redefine concepts like patriotism, democracy, and morality.

They will need an extraordinary education, not short answers.
Read all of: Memorization, Standardized Tests, and Official Policy
by Jack Blatherwick, PhD | t r u t h o u t | Guest Contributor
December 28, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Past

Noel was about three and a half or so here, and Bill was about two. I think. (They were 19 months apart.) That's me in the background.

The gingerbread house was from my mom. She made it in New York City and sent it to us in Mississippi. The kids loved it. But when they tried to actually eat it the house was hard as a rock. Oh well.

Merry Christmas.
love, Gabi

Monday, December 18, 2006

Leonard Pitts Jr. At Large: My freedom linked to others -- including gays

I find it telling that Vice President Dick Cheney hews to the hard conservative line on virtually every social issue, except gay marriage. It is, of course, no coincidence that Cheney has a daughter who is a lesbian. Which tells me his position is based not on principle but, rather, on loving his daughter.

RULE NO. 1

It is a fine thing to love your daughter. I would argue, however, that it is also a fine thing and in some ways, a finer thing, to love your neighbor's daughter, no matter her sexual orientation, religion, race, creed or economic status -- and to want her freedom as eagerly as you want your own.

I believe in moral coherence. And Rule No. 1 is, you cannot assert your own humanity, then turn right around and deny someone else's.
Read all of At Large: My freedom linked to others -- including gays
by Leonard Pitts Jr. ~ The Miami Herald ~ Dec. 15, 2006

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Drawing - skeleton to finished figure

From Alec:
Drawing a woman from the inside out. Someone put a HUGE amount of work into this.
See this amazing flash animation at: http://fcmx.net/vec/get.swf?i=003702

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Season's Eatings

I wouldn't want you to miss "Schweaty Balls" from Saturday Night Live -- with Alec Baldwin.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Medicine and Politics

Last week Alec and I went in for our annual medical check-up.

Our doctor's secretary asked us to fill out new paperwork and the first question was "Do you have any current complaints?"

Alec wrote:
"Yes, George Bush Jr. is still in office."
They all loved it, and they told us that about 40% of the patients put that down now. :-)

Saturday, December 2, 2006

A New Zealand Quaker meeting's statement of affirmation and reconciliation about the inclusiveness of sexualities

I found this New Zealand Quaker meeting statement of Affirmation and Reconciliation about the inclusiveness of sexualities, especially gays and lesbians from the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance website religioustolerance.org:
New Zealand: The Quaker meeting in Aotearoa is called "Te Hahi Tuhauwiri." This was the name gifted to them by the Maori Language Commission in 1994. It means "The people who are moved by the winds of the Spirit." In 1999, they published their Statement of Affirmation and Reconciliation about the inclusiveness of sexualities, especially gays and lesbians. It had been adopted in 1995. Portions read:

"The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Aotearoa New Zealand commits itself to be a community of reconciliation, responding to the love of God in equality of participation and service, and recognizing the gifts of God in one another. A cornerstone of Quaker belief is 'that of God' in everyone which makes each person precious, and of value to God, to the planet, and to her or his community.

Each individual's journey through life is unique. Some will make this journey alone, others in loving relationships - maybe in marriage or other forms of commitment. We need to ponder our own choices and try to understand the choices of others. Love has many shapes and colors and is not finite. It can not be measured or defined in terms of sexual orientation.

We are now called:
  • to welcome publicly and explicitly the participation and service of lesbian and gay Friends;
  • to help one another develop loving and equal adult relationships and friendships;
  • to explore ways in which we can, through worship and cherishing, mark the joys and sorrows of one another's relationships and life circumstances;
  • to seek formal ways of recognizing a variety of commitments, including gay and lesbian partnerships.
We realize in making this present affirmation we oblige ourselves to face and deal with our own homophobia and unconscious prejudices, together with society's limitations and denials of human rights and justice. We acknowledge that as individuals we are as fallible as anyone else. When put to the test, we may each fall short."

My email this morning to the pflag-all email list: Friends of PFLAG Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu have opened a new play in NYC to rave reviews

Hi everyone

Steve Schalchlin and his partner Jim Brochu - have opened a new play off-Broadway in New York City to rave reviews: “The Big Voice: God or Merman?” http://www.thebigvoice.com

Some of you may remember that an earlier musical of theirs, "The Last Session" was recognized with many awards including PFLAG-LA's Oscar Wilde Award for promoting understanding through the arts and Outstanding Los Angeles Theatre Production by GLAAD Media Awards.
http://www.thelastsession.com/

Here are some reviews of "The Big Voice":
Jim Brochu, left, and Steve Schalchlin in “The Big Voice: God or Merman?,” a musical that chronicles their meeting and relationship. ... A Musical Attempt to Share Some Secrets of True Love ~ New York Times ~ December 2, 2006

Still, the literal translation of "diva" is "goddess." So the title of Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin's musical two-hander The Big Voice: God or Merman? ... The Big Voice: God or Merman? ~ TheaterMania.com ~ New York, NY ~ Dec 1, 2006

A Murphy Cross, Paul Kreppel, Edmund Gaynes, BarBar Prods. presentation of a musical in two acts written and performed by Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin. ... The Big Voice: God or Merman? ~ Variety ~ Nov. 30, 2006

Jim Brochu has also written and performed in a one man show about Zero Mostel, "Zero Hour" http://www.zerohourshow.com

You can also follow Steve and Jimmy's lives and adventures in Steve's blog: "Living In The Bonus Round - where time speeds up and the prizes are better." where he has written and YouTube video diary entries, and a special ticket discount for those of you lucky enough to see the show. I saw "The Last Session" and I know you won't be disappointed in anything they do.

Gabi

~*~*~*~*~*~*

12/04/06 reply to Avalon's comment:

I'm sorry if the quotes I used made the show sound tepid. I know it isn't.

Here is another review:
Partners in life as well as in stage and song, Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin have made fantastic theater out of the drama of their lives with the autobiographical musical The Big Voice: God or Merman?
The Merman Temple - The ministry of showbiz versus the showbiz of ministry by Joseph Mccombs ~ Village Voice - New York, NY ~ December 4th, 2006