August 2005 Archives



It seems that among the few visitors here who are not relatives, quite a few arrive having Googled "Dona Nobis Pacem". Just so that you don't come all this way for nothing, here's a little dona nobis pacem info:

It is a Latin phrase that means "Grant us peace." It is often sung as a traditional Latin hymn. It is also an extremely beautiful and moving canata by British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, written in 1936 and reflecting the pain of the First Great War on the eve of the Second. It incorporates pieces of the Mass, Biblical text, and poetry by Walt Whitman (bringing forth the pain of the American Civil War).

I sang it with the UW Choral Union two years ago and I have not been able to get it out of my head since then. The effect it had on me was stronger than any other peice of music I have ever encountered. And, as the sentiment seemed to fit these troubled times, I made it the Irving Place banner.

(I do hope that the person looking for "burned toungue first aid" found some better info, including the proper spelling of "tongue". I find it interesting that they would go all the way to the 12th result for that one)

Trying not to be a bore...

...but there is another Artist's for Choice event this week.

I'm going to be speaking this time (eek!) and so would love some familiar faces for moral support. The line-up is really a good one. Olive Talique of Cherry Pop Burlesque will get the show going. Local indie-pop duo the Buffali is up next. Rockers Jimmy's Comet close out the show. It promises to be a blast.

The cover charge is extremely reasonable (though there seem to be some discrepencies as to whether it is $3 or $5) and the weekend really starts on Thursdays in Madison, so why not stop by? Doors open for the event at 8. Be there by 9 if you want to hear me make a fool out of

Degrees of Seperation

I've never been able to figure out how to react when someone I sort of know but don't dies. It leaves me feeling confused. I don't quite feel grief, but at the same time it's something different from just hearing about a random stranger.

When the boy next door who'd been a friend one summer but then drifted away drowned. When the high school teacher who I'd always hated succumbed to cancer. When my former co-worker had a sudden and unexpected embolism. When the older brother of a college friend I'd lost touch with drowned.

Friday evening, I found out the a guy I'd been on a couple of dates with about a two years ago had died.

I suppose it is rather self-centered to hear the news of someone's death and wonder, "How am I supposed to feel about this?" but then, most reactions to death are self-centered. The dead are dead. We can be sad and angry for them that they didn't get to keep on living, but mostly it is about our loss (how much *we* will miss them) and our own mortality.

When someone we know well and care about dies, we are right in the midst of the grief. When we hear the news of a complete stranger's death, we get a comforatable seperation ("Oh gee, that's sad."). However, when the person is neither a loved one nor a stranger, it hits home in very odd ways. They aren't just a name in the newspaper, but our memories of them aren't quite as personal as they could be.

And so, I guess, the naval-gazing blog entries about death.

Take Another Little Piece of My Heart

| 1 Comment

So, it seems that my uncle has sold the family cottage. I guess it is his to sell, but it feels very strange. The cottage was built on land that my great-grandfather purchased. It was built by my grandparents, my dad, and his brothers. I've been going there on vacations all my life.

To be true, my uncle is 63 and the cottage demands a lot of upkeep. Plus, there are about 100 stairs up and down a hill to get there and back. And since it has become his place over the years, he can do what he wishes and trade it in for an easier place.

A part of me always knew that this day would come, when he would want to sell the place. I'd just hoped that it would have been kept in the family; that the day wouldn't come until I was in a position that I could buy it myself. But the sale closes on the 1st, and I won't even be able to get up there to say goodbye to the place.

Such is life, I guess. One can't control the actions or possessions of others, especially if it involves property. Still, I feel in a small way the way I did forteen and Irving Place slipped away. Another piece of my childhood is vanishing in the mist.

Farewell, Winne-Ko-Mac.

(Re)touched in the Head

As a photographer, I can understand the need and/or desire for a certain amount of retouching. However most of these take it to an extreme that I find unsettling. It is one ting to adjust the color and the lighting a tad, but it is necessary to completely reshape someone's butt or back? In many cases, once I see the original photo the retouched vesion looks blah in comparison. So much of the character and humanity of the original disappears when the subject is turned into plastic perfection.

A few days left before school starts

School starts on September 1, and we are still gathering donation towards the school supplies project. We've had several very generous donations of both money and supplies but we aren't yet in a position to buy all the supplies we'd wanted to get (30 entire sets).

We are going to prioritize for the most needed supplies and get as many as we can. In the meantime, if you are interested in helping out, please let me know. My email address is over on the lefthand side of this page.

Help a brother out

I was at the computer a little while ago and had not yet turned on my music. This was fortunate, as it turns out. I heard someone calling outside, what sounded like, "Hello!" It went on for a little while, and I realized that it was a combination of hello and Help!

I couldn't see anything from the window, so I popped outside to take a look. My next door neighbor, an 81 year old man, had fallen into his hedge while trying to turn off the water on his sprinkler. He wasn't hurt, but he was in too awkward a position to stand up on his own.

Also fortunate, a woman who had been bicycling past heard him, too, for I wasn't able to help him up on my own. Between the two of us, we got him righted and out of the hedge.

He was pretty happy that we'd been there. He told us that he has an alert button, but that he doesn't like to use it unless it is absolutely necessary, because "Four firetrucks will show up". He was a little embarrassed by the situation, but handled it pretty well.

WORTs and all

The interview on Sunday went well, from what I can tell (having been there but not having heard it). Photographer amandagaze was also there. The interview was brief, but the questions were good ones. I don't think I babbled too much, so hurrah.

Radio radio

Tomorrow morning I am going to be interviewed on Her Turn on WORT, in regards to Artists for Choice. The show is at 11, so I'm going to actually have to wake up and get out of the house in the morning.

Visitor poll


Hello, care to introduce yourself?



Dar Williams is going to be at the Barrymore on November 2!

Will work for food

Last night I went to the Terrace with a friend to listen to some music. After the music was over, we headed down to State Street to find some food. In Library Mall, we passed a solitary food cart with a badly written menu sign on a whiteboard.

We were trying to read the sign "Gratful food's" and the owner and his friends starting talking to us. He was a nice young guy (kinda stoned) trying to sell vegan food to the drunks. He told us how his sign was so bad because he couldn't find anyone to write it for him tonight, and had to do it himself.

I half-jokingly asked if he would like me to re-write it for him. He took me up on it and offered me an order of curly fries for it. So we got out a paper towel and a dry-erase marker and I redid the sign with good spelling, neat handwriting, and a few cool little graphic touches. He really liked it. I got a tray of homemade curly fries covered in parmesan cheese.

Very random, very cool.

<cabbage patching>

| 1 Comment

One of my photos was just accepted into a juried photo exhibition schedule to hang at the Overture Center in October. 75 entries were chosen out of about 300. Supah!

Should I be scared...

...that I find these grocery lists so fascinating?

Your Voice?!?


At this morning's Farmer's Market, a man started to shout something out as he passed the corner where the Planned Parenthood volunteers had the table set up. He started to shut when he was about 5 feet behind us, and continued to do so as he walked past:

"My sperm, my voice! Don't silence me! Pro-life Catholic coming through!"

Everyone at the table went wide-eyed and tried not to laugh. My sperm, my voice? WTF? It was so bizarre that I had to jot it down, so that I could remember it later.

This guy is a bit of a regular. He walks past the table and makes a passive-aggressive, anti-choice comment. He never stops. He just drops his words and keeps on walking.

It was pretty funny when I first heard it, but the more I've thought about what he said, the more disturbing I find it. This guy considers his sperm to be his voice, and women, by taking control of their own fertility, are silencing him. It's as if he feels that spreading his seed is a First Amendment right.

What are the odds that this bozo would put on a condom if asked? Probably slim to nil. What are the odds that this bozo would continue to have sex, sans condom, even if his partner said no? Every time I think about the implications of his statement, the more chilling it becomes. Sadder still, it is very likely that there are many other men who feel this way. Some of them may be in government. Some of them may be pharmacists. Some may just be sad little rapists. But the common bond they share is that they feel their sperm is their voice. They feel that their voices are silenced when women take control of their bodies and fertility. It threatens what they see as a fundamental right.

This explains a lot and is also rather frightening.

The other protestor of the morning was another man (surprise!) who asked us rather belligerently, "Do you think it's funny to kill babies?!?" I ran him off with my patented, "We aren't here to debate, sir." Followed by a series of friendly, smiling, "Thank you, have a good day sir"s until he finally gave up and walked away.

Some people.

We had a lot of good visitors to balance them out, though.


Is it considered a "sports injury" if you wack yourself on the ankle with the club while playing mini golf?

Piney fresh

I've just given my apartment a very thorough cleaning. Now I feel like I need some visitors so that someone else can appreciate how spotless it is at this moment.

Under the Stars

Camping this weekend was fabulous fun. The last time I was camping was the summer after 8th grade, and that got rained out.

We stayed in a horse pasture on Storybook Farms in picturesque Brodhead, WI. The weather was clear and dry, but it never got overwhelmingly hot, as there was a nice breeze on the hill where we spent most of our time.

Saturday night was a real treat. The night was moonless and clear, so the stars were very visible. Every few minutes or so we witnessed a shooting star. Several of us stayed up chatting around the fire until well after 4. (I figured that I probably wasn't going to be getting much sleep anyway, so I may as well be social. I was right. I was up again by around 9.)

The only downside of the weekend was that a screw fell out of my favorite glasses, and the right temple piece fell and was lost forever. I gave the whole area a good, thorough searching, but to no avail. :(

I think I need to get myself some camping equipment, so that I can do it again before another 15 years or so goes by.


In order to give a general idea of how much school supplies cost, here is an example list, as searched off of Office Despot:

Office Depot® Wood #2 Pencils, Medium Soft Lead, Pack Of 72--$3.29
Office Depot® Ballpoint Pens, 1.0 mm, Medium Point, Clear Barrel, Black Ink, Pack Of 12 --$.79
Office Depot® Ballpoint Pens, 1.0 mm, Medium Point, Clear Barrel, Blue Ink, Pack Of 12 --$.79
Office Depot® Ballpoint Pens, 1.0 mm, Medium Point, Clear Barrel, Red Ink, Pack Of 12 --$.79
Paper Mate® Pencil Cap Erasers, Red, Pack Of 12 --$.79
Paper Mate® Pink Pearl® Erasers, Medium, Pack Of 3 --$.99
Sanford® EXPO2® Low-Odor Dry-Erase Markers, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, Pack of 8--$6.80
Binney & Smith Crayola® Broad Line Markers, Assorted Classic Colors, Box Of 8 --$3.39
Binney & Smith Crayola® Thin Line Markers, Assorted Classic Colors, Box Of 8 --$3.39
Binney & Smith Crayola® Standard Crayon Set, Assorted Colors, Box Of 24-- $1.59
Binney & Smith Crayola® Colored Pencils, Set Of 12 Colors--$2.29
Norcom Wirebound Notebooks, 8" x 10 1/2", Wide Rule, 1 Subject, 70 Pages Each, Pack Of 6 --$4.59
Wide-Ruled Notebook Filler Paper, 8" x 10 1/2", 3-Hole Punched, Pack Of 150 Sheets --$.97
Mead® Marble Composition Books, Wide-Ruled, 100 Pages, 7 1/2" x 9 3/4", Pack of 3 --$4.20
Office Depot® Economy Round Ring View Binder, 1" Ring, White --$1.99
Oxford® Twin-Pocket Portfolios, Assorted, Pack Of 10--$3.59
Oxford® White Recycled Index Cards, Ruled, 3" x 5", Pack Of 500--$2.99
Oxford® White Recycled Index Cards, Unruled, 3" x 5", Pack Of 500--$2.99
Office Depot® Acrylic Ruler, 12", Assorted Colors --$.59
Office Depot® Scissors For Kids, 5" Pointed Tip, Pack Of 2--$2.79
Office Depot® Scissors For Kids, 5" Blunt Tip, Pack Of 2--$2.79
Office Depot® Comfort Grip Scissors For Students, Black/Blue Handles, 7" Pointed Tip --$6.89
Office Depot® Washable School Glue, 4 Oz., White --$.89
Office Depot® Glue Sticks, 0.32 Oz., Clear, Pack Of 12 --$5.99
Office Depot® Glue Sticks, 1.4 Oz., Clear, Pack Of 3--$6.29
3M Post-it® Notes in Canary Yellow, 3" x 3", 100 Sheets Per Pad, Pack of 12 --$8.95
3M Post-it® Notes in Canary Yellow, 1 1/2" x 2", 100 Sheets Per Pad, Pack of 12 --$5.05
Casio® HS10 Compact Solar Calculator --$3.99
Office Depot® Assorted Metallic Colored Plastic Clipboard, 8 1/2" x 11" --$4.29
Kleenex® 2-Ply Facial Tissue, Boutique, Box Of 95, Pack Of 6 Boxes--$10.89
Kimberly-Clark Wypall® All-Purpose Cleaning Towels --$8.49

Even small contributions make a huge impact. Big thanks go out to everyone who is contributing, and to those who are helping spread the word.

For those who have been wondering, the two schools that will be receiving the supplies are Lake View (64% low income) and Lincoln (70% low income) Elementaries.

Pat at the Terrace

I have yet to go to a Pat show at the Terrace that didn't leave me happy, and that includes the one that had to stop in the middle because of the thunderstorm. This one was no exception.

As has become a tradition for me, I spent the day enjoying the Terrace with good friends and good beer. The sun was shining and the sky was clear, but it was never overly hot. The crowd filled up (as usual) but no one got obnoxious (as sometimes happens). I was able to hear my favorite songs and stage dance a bit. Quality fun was had.

I did get a tad cranky by the end of the night. As the song says "Too much sun makes you stupid" and I had gotten a headache, probably from not drinking as much water as I thought I had. Still, nothing that a couple of asprin and a good night's sleep couldn't handle.

Only a year to go till the next Terrace show.

Opening Night at Momo

The first event in the three-month, six-event Artists for Choice series at Cafe Montmartre went off with flying colors. There was a pretty decent turnout for a weeknight.

Lauren Rauk, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Public Affairs coordinator extraordinaire, played MC to kick the night off. Visual artists Nancy Peidelstein, Lynn Lau, and Jenn Utley stepped up to the plate and spoke about their art and what choice meant to them.

The performances were pretty smokin', despite the smoking ban (hurray for the smoking ban, BTW!). Mahela, a belly dancer, started it all off with a set of dances that had the whole bar staring in amazement. I was pretty inspired. I've decided I need to take some classes. That was hawt! Nicole Gruter got us all thinking with a set of beautifully sung Italian arias, whilst being painted (in a set of paper hospital gowns) by her assistant.

MaeRae was up next. They sounded pretty god but, though I hate to admit it, I wasn't able to pay much attention at the time. Someone was talking to me about buying one of my pieces.


Let me say that again.

Someone was talking to me about buying one of my pieces!!!! Woot!

Box Elder finished out the night with a set that saw a bunch of us dancing in front of the stage and singing along with, "All of your friends think you're an asshole...and they're right!" (great song that I'd love to hear again.)

Don't forget, the next event is coming up next week:
Wed, August 17
featured performers: Stephanie Rearick, Clear Blue Betty, The Dorothy Heralds
featured visual artists: Sara Naatz, amandagaze, David Nevala

Be there or be square!


The last few days have been tumultuous and exciting, and I'll write it all up once I've actually gotten some proper sleep.



No, I'm not jumping out from behind the coach and yelling. But I am trying to raise money and materials for kids who won't have them.

The new school year is about to start, and the average school supply list looks something like this:

6 durable pocket folders
clip boards
4oz bottles of white glue
2 small glue sticks
4 large glue sticks
larger yet still school appropriate scissors
2 or 3 or6 Spiral notebooks—wide ruled, plain solid covers, 70pp
24-pack crayon boxes
colored pencil sets
sets wide markers
sets fine point markers
black fine tipped markers (not sharpies)
2 boxes of pencil top erasers
boxes of baby wipes or other disinfectant wipes
large boxes of kleenex
Ziploc bags—sandwich, quart, and gallon size
#2 pencils
wide ruled looseleaf paper, large packs
1" 3 ring binder
12" ruler, metric and English
Post-its, small
Post-its, regular
Soft eraser
Dry erase marker
Index cards
2 blue or black ball point pens
thin tip red marking pen or pencil
black and white composition book
colored hardcover composition book

It can be daunting to buy that for just one kid, and even more so if you have multiple kids in school. Some people can do it with no problem, but for others, it can be next to impossible. There are kids who come to school with no supplies, or very few supplies, or have no replacements once they run out. Sometimes teachers try to help by buying things out of their own pocket. Sometimes the school has extra. And sometimes, other people step in. That is what my friend Steve and I are trying to do.

We are trying to get together enough school supplies to outfit about 30 kids--15 each at our respective neighborhood elementary schools. School starts in September, so we have just about a month to get it together. If all goes well, we may formalize and expand our operations.

If you would like to contribute, either money to make purchases or by donating an item from the list, please contact me. (Please make sure that donated items are new, unused, and as described on the list. Also, as cool as folders and notebooks with pictures can be, please select plain covers, so that any child may use them.)

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from August 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

July 2005 is the previous archive.

September 2005 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Powered by Movable Type 4.32-en