Saturday, April 28, 2007

Here's a prayer for the sick from Rabbi Gellman

Dear Henry,

I am praying for you, and I thought I might tell you what I am praying so that you could add it to your prayers—or so that, even if you stop praying for yourself, you know that I am among the many people who will not stop. I am praying for you to get well and become whole again.

I pray that your doctors might be the hands of God. They are not the only way that healing may come to you, but they are a good and proven way. I am praying that your doctors might find a treatment for your cancer—forever or for a little while. I am also praying that you might have the hope and courage to be their partner in the work of healing you. Hope mixed with medicine makes both the medicine and the hope stronger.

Henry, I am praying that you use your fear rather than submitting to your fear. Those who tell you not to be afraid are well-meaning fools. It is natural and normal for you to be afraid now. However, I pray that you might find a way to transform your fear into fuel for your fight. You are not a victim and you are not condemned. You are a living man who is deeply loved, and you can fight this thing with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Use your fear now to fight for your life.

And finally Henry, I am praying that you might smell the scent of water. Job (14:7) wrote about the hope he saw even in a felled tree. “If its roots are deep in the earth, at the first scent of water it will send forth new green shoots and grow again.” I pray that you will be like that tree, Henry. I pray that despite your prognosis, you will walk again soon on the beach with nothing on your mind except the colors of the water and the feeling of the wind on your face and the sand between your toes. Henry, you can do this. You can beat this. You can find strength of spirit and a resolute courage to fight this disease within you. What I have learned from the sick people who have been my teachers is that such strength and such courage looks more like hope than anger, more like serenity than combativeness. The secret of this fight is to know the feeling of being rooted in the love of family and friends and, for some, God. I am praying for you Henry. I am praying that beyond the smell of antiseptic and crappy hospital food that you might catch a whiff of something fine and bracing and beseeching and incantatory. I am praying that you can catch a scent of water. No matter what tomorrow might bring, Henry, I pray that today your new leaves will begin to sprout.

May God bless you and heal you,
Marc Gellman

Monday, April 23, 2007

Amur Leopard killed by idiot Russian

One of the seven last female Amur leopards was killed by a hunter. He shot it in its tailbone, then clubbed it to death, and left the body behind. How completely senseless - he didnt even steal the hide. This leopard lives in siberia and along border with china, and korea. The World Wildlife Fund says its on its way to extinction in the wild.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Buggy Jacking in Pennsylvania!

This is too weird: An Amish man convicted in the grisly 1993 disembowelment murder of his wife returned to Crawford County last week and seized his 17-year-old daughter, Mary, after his son hijacked the horse-drawn buggy in which she was riding, family members said. This guy served only a few years in prison for "stomping" his wife to death and then disemboweling her. Reduced sentence because of insanity. The whole thing makes no sense: he's nuts so he doesnt have to do much time, then he gets out of prison, and his relatives are surprised when he acts nuts and buggy jacks his daughter? Who has ever heard of a buggy jacking? After watching Bobby Brown meet the Dalai Lama (Hello Mr. Lama!) I thought the world was ending, but now i am convinced.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

richard perle meets anti war demonstrators

Richard Perle is one of the architects of the Iraq invasion, and has steadfastly defended the invasion even when people like Paul Wolfowitz have retreated in their support. Here he allows an anti war demonstrator to confront him, and he calmly explains his reasons for supporting the war - this guy has guts - you may not agree with him, but at least he has the character to stand up for what he believes, not like some of the weasel republicans who have abandoned Bush since 2006. Republicans have become the ultimate "flip floppers

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut Dies

When Kurt Vonnegut turned 50, his publisher sent out a press release to all newspapers, including my college paper. I was news editor so I received a photo, an interview, and his latest book "Breakfast of Champions." I couldnt believe someone could turn 50 and still look almost ok. I read the book and then quickly read all his books. In many ways, he was a hero. here is a story about his death and early life: he didnt kill himself because "so as not to set a bad example for my children." I like that part.

Vonnegut was born on Nov. 11, 1922, in Indianapolis, and studied chemistry at Cornell University before joining the Army. His mother killed herself just before he left for Germany during World War II, where he was quickly taken prisoner during the Battle of the Bulge. He was being held in Dresden when Allied bombs firebombed the German city.

"The firebombing of Dresden explains absolutely nothing about why I write what I write and am what I am," Vonnegut wrote in "Fates Worse Than Death," his 1991 autobiography of sorts.

But he spent 23 years struggling to write about the ordeal, which he survived by huddling with other POW's inside an underground meat locker labeled slaughterhouse-five.

The novel that emerged, in which Pvt. Pilgrim is transported from Dresden by time-traveling aliens, was published at the height of the Vietnam War, and solidified his reputation as an iconoclast.

After World War II, he reported for Chicago's City News Bureau, then did public relations for General Electric, a job he loathed. He wrote his first novel, "Player Piano," in 1951, followed by "The Sirens of Titan," "Canary in a Cat House" and "Mother Night," making ends meet by selling Saabs on Cape Cod.

Critics ignored him at first, then denigrated his deliberately bizarre stories and disjointed plots as haphazardly written science fiction. But his novels became cult classics, especially "Cat's Cradle" in 1963, in which scientists create "ice-nine," a crystal that turns water solid and destroys the Earth.

He retired from novel writing in his later years, but continued to publish short articles. He had a best-seller in 2005 with "A Man Without a Country," a collection of his nonfiction, including jabs at the Bush administration ("upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography") and the uncertain future of the planet.

He called the book's success "a nice glass of champagne at the end of a life."

Vonnegut, who had homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons in New York, adopted his sister's three young children after she died. He also had three children of his own with his first wife, Jane Marie Cox, and later adopted a daughter, Lily, with his second wife, Krementz.

Vonnegut once said that of all the ways to die, he'd prefer to go out in an airplane crash on the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. He often joked about the difficulties of old age.

"When Hemingway killed himself he put a period at the end of his life; old age is more like a semicolon," Vonnegut told the AP.

"My father, like Hemingway, was a gun nut and was very unhappy late in life. But he was proud of not committing suicide. And I'll do the same, so as not to set a bad example for my children."

Thursday, April 05, 2007

More Borat!

Here is Borat on SNL - way over the top! (he speaks hebrew - catch it).

peyton manning helps kids thru United Way!

very funny SNL sketch!

The Seventh Seal - film

The Seventh Seal is playing at Regent Square theater in Pittsburgh this sunday at 7:30pm. Classic film by Ingmar Bergman. Antonius Block is a Knight and Crusader returning from Jerusalem. He is tired, disillusioned with life. He searches for god but cannot find him. He is confronted by death, and challenges death to a chess match for his life. He continues his journey meeting various people along the way - Bergman is showing the "human condition" while the Knight travels. He meets an actor and his family and joins them for a picnic of wild strawberries on a beautiful afternoon. He says: "I shall remember this moment: the silence, the twilight, the bowl of strawberries, the bowl of milk. Your faces in the evening light. Mikael asleep, Jof with his lyre. I shall try to remember our talk. I shall carry this memory carefully in my hands as if it were a bowl brimful of fresh milk. It will be a sign to me, and a great sufficiency." the Knight has an "epoche," or a moment of reflected consciousness, where he experiences the beauty of life: delicious strawberries, fresh milk, a young mom and dad and their beautiful son. you see, life can be very good. How does it end? Can anyone really "beat" death? I like the scene where the Knight has his epoche, but the scene that is really hair raising is when the Knight confronts a woman who has been detained for being a "Witch." There is a plague, and groups of people are whipping themselves to show their piety and desire for deliverance from god. I guess people blame themselves for the plague, because of their sin, but eventually they look for other victims: witches and jews. Anyway, this poor young woman has been tortured, and she has confessed to being a witch and talking to satan. the Knight realizes that if the girl really has talked to satan, then god must exist - Genesis, remember? Satan is a fallen angel of god? So if there is a devil there must be a god. Anyway the Knight asks her if she knows where satan can be found and she says, look into my eyes and you will find him. he stares into her eyes (mind you, she is near death, tortured) and she asks, what do you see? And he says.......nothing. His squire suggests that they kill the guards and free the poor girl, but the Knight says she is too far gone, her hands are broken, she is near death. They wait and watch her burned at the stake. Grim movie - its about life. Life is grim. I have never seen this on the big screen before - I love this movie - I used to show it in my intro political philosophy class after spending a week on existentialism - I dont know if most of the students understood existentialism, but they liked the movie. I tried to teach them that existence PRECEDES essense, and most understood that. I think they also understood freedom. But the being in itself and being for others confused them.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

update on the feral cat

Salem hasnt been around lately. I havent seen him for over 2 weeks. Some days his food dish is empty, but I dont know what is eating it (raccoons?).

my hair

Whenever I think about how strange my hair looks, I look at this picture of Phil Spector, the producer guy known for his "wall of sound" sound, and for having a woman he met at the LA House of Blues shot in the head in his house (he calls it an accidental suicide).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Hummer or Bus?

Screw Hummers, I'm buying a used bus and driving it to work!

Keith richards turns dad into "blow"!

Keith Richards has acknowledged consuming a raft of illegal substances in his time, but this may top them all. In comments published Tuesday, the 63-year-old Rolling Stones guitarist said he had snorted his father's ashes mixed with cocaine.

"The strangest thing I've tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father," Richards was quoted as saying by British music magazine NME.

"He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn't have cared," he said. "... It went down pretty well, and I'm still alive."

Richards' father, Bert, died in 2002, at 84.

Richards, one of rock's legendary wild men, told the magazine that his survival was the result of luck, and advised young musicians against trying to emulate him.

"I did it because that was the way I did it. Now people think it's a way of life," he was quoted as saying.

"I've no pretensions about immortality," he added. "I'm the same as everyone ... just kind of lucky.

"I was No. 1 on the `who's likely to die' list for 10 years. I mean, I was really disappointed when I fell off the list," Richards said.


dalai lama and Caddyshack

here is the you tube BillMurray dalai lama story:
So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as
a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a
looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they
give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing
robes, the grace, bald . . . striking.

"So I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and
whacks one -- big hitter, the Lama -- long, into a 10,000-foot crevice,
right at the base of this glacier. . . .

"So we finish the 18th and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, 'Hey, Lama, hey,
how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.' And he
says, 'Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed,
you will receive total consciousness.'

"So I got that goin' for me, which is nice."

drunk Zamboni driver! Only in New Jersey!

NEWARK, N.J. - It’s not drunken driving in New Jersey if it involves a Zamboni.

A judge ruled the four-ton ice rink-grooming machines aren’t motor vehicles because they aren’t useable on highways and can’t carry passengers.

Zamboni operator John Peragallo had been charged with drunken driving in 2005 after a fellow employee at the Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown told police the machine was speeding and nearly crashed into the boards.
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Police said Peragallo’s blood alcohol level was 0.12 percent. A level of 0.08 is considered legally drunk in New Jersey.

Peragallo appealed, and Superior Court Judge Joseph Falcone on Monday overturned his license revocation and penalties.

“It’s a vindication for my client,” Peragallo attorney James Porfido said after the hearing. “It’s the right decision.”

Peragallo, 64, testified at his trial that he did drink beer and vodka, but not until after he had groomed the ice. However, he told police he had a shot of Sambuca with his breakfast coffee and two Valium pills before work.