Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I felt a bit guilty about putting this little video together (my main book shelf, before and after my dear friend Bridget helped me fill it with my boxes and bags and piles and heaps of books) when I should have been studying, but then this little gem showed up and made it all better:

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.
—Mark Twain

Enjoy. (No, there is no sound -- and yes, I successfully resisted adding lightning strikes, spooky fog, and old-time-film effects.)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Maybe after I've vacuumed up the straw that fell out of my ankles, sleeves, pockets and hat (in nearly every room of the house somehow), I'll have more to show-and-tell about our rockin' Halloween party last night, but for now here's my housemates and I in our Wizard of Oz costumes: Natalia as Glenda, Tim as the Tin Man, Brian as the Man Behind the Curtain, Kat as the Wicked Witch, Krista as the Lion, me as the Scarecrow, and Meghan as Dorothy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Twenty-one miles in under twenty-four hours.

Night winds that threatened to unstake the tent and hurl it into the Pemigewasset River (at least that's what it sounded like).

The equal-parts-victorious-and-derisive chattering of a crafty cabal of chipmunks who apparently spent the better part of the early morning chewing through my dry bag (and the enclosed ziplock bags) to pluck out cashews and dark-chocolate-covered edamame -- despite its being suspended ten feet in the air. (They warned us it was a busy bear season, but it's the cursed chipmunks we should have been worried about.)

All this and the kind of conversations that wait for you on quiet leaf-ridden trails -- that's what MacHarg and I found in the White Mountains this weekend.

(Well, that and the Hungry Man Breakfast at Peg's in Woodstock, NH: 3 eggs, 3 strips of bacon, 4 pieces of wheat toast, home fries and 2 pancakes with real maple syrup. We had to say no to the planned chocolate malt -- that's how filling it was.)

Who's ready for the next hike? And I won't even forget my headlamp this time. (No guarantees on Mike remembering his rain jacket, though.)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The chewy library we call the Bible is close to my heart. (A surprising person in this documentary calls it "the only book I know that I can go back to time and time again and still have it challenge me.")

Homosexuality -- and in a special way the faith-lives of people who are homosexual -- is also close to my heart.

So while I -- a gay Catholic man studying theology -- was anxious to see the this film I was also, well, anxious. I was afraid of cardboard people, puffed-up drama and endless talking heads making sloppy theology. Instead, the documentary honored both of its weighty, controversial subjects. I'm tempted to say that's no small feat, but it's what all the gay Christians I know do every day. The same can be said for the delicate job the film does of cultivating compassion for homophobes, connecting homophobia to misogyny, and holding up just how radical God's call to love really is.

Here's the blurb and a link to the movie's website and list of where it's playing:
Is the chasm separating gays and lesbians and Christianity too wide to cross? Is the Bible an excuse to hate? Director/co-writer Daniel Karslake's provocative and entertaining documentary brilliantly reconciles homosexuality and Biblical scripture, and in the process reveals that Church-sanctioned anti-gay bias is based almost solely upon a significant (and often malicious) misinterpretation of the Bible. Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families—including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson—we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child.
I can't recommend the movie enough -- for gay folks and straight folks, for atheists and agnostics and believers and everybody in between. No movie is perfect -- even if the filmmakers had four hours to work with, there would still be some tough editing decisions to make. But let me know what you think when you see it.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I was invited to four different weddings last month. Four in a row, actually. I'm all for good wedding karma -- and goodness knows I love all that love and joy and commitment -- but I was prepared for it to be hard, seeing as how none of the weddings were mine and I didn't even have a date to bring to any of them.

But they weren't hard, they were beautiful. And -- not to pick favorites or anything, but -- none were more beautiful than Jess and Heather's, in which I was Jess' best man.

These pictures are from theirs -- the light of God shone stunningly, and I've never been steeped in such poetry (even their easygoing-but-intentional placement of themselves in the church space was poetic).

Original poetry crafted for the occasion, a song custom-made for the day (with lyrics drawn from interviews with the betrothed), and spontaneous prose written in the guest book next to the goofy/gorgeous photos from the reception's photo-booth.

I love these women. And I love how their love inspires the rest of ours.


PS: Photography by the amazing Ria Czichotzki -- handheld in available light only! Check out her site and fly her in to photograph your kids or nieces or nephews.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I really have no words for this. I wasn't even there when MacHarg recorded it. But Earthquake was playing "Hoodie" by Lady Sovereign and Ginger and Peachy couldn't help but dance. Apparently Peach's family needs to see this and I guess this is as good as any other place. Enjoy. Alan Greenspan would call it irrational exuberance, but then again ol' Al and I never agreed on much . . .