Showing posts from August, 2018

Man Tears

Hawkeye loses it. Aw geez. There I go again. I was listening to NPR's Up First  podcast, a ten-minute early morning rundown of the top three stories of the day, and I found myself tearing up. It wasn't the latest example of the Trump regime exemplifying its ABE motto (Always Be Evil) that did me in this time, though that has happened in the past--forced parent-child separations? American citizens, born in this country, denied a passport because of their Mexican ancestry and their birthplace being south Texas? And there I go again...[sniff] No, this time it was two stories about the funerals of great Americans: John McCain and Aretha Franklin. Earlier this week, I listened to a Fresh Air that played interviews with McCain from 2000 and 2005, and hearing the sincere, idealistic voice of this wounded warrior, even as he explained policy positions I vehemently oppose, had my eyes misting up. And don't get me started on Aretha: I've had her music on a constant loo

Look! Over There!

Antman and the Wasp is an enjoyable summer movie, a lovely palate cleanser after the loud, gloomy, and commercially cynical (of course they're not killing off all those franchises! Money!)  Avengers installment. As my time on earth steps more fully into its downhill phase, I'm far less likely than I used to be to see movies multiple times, but I didn't mind at all seeing this one twice. Most of the jokes held up very well (though one unfortunate trope involving a Hispanic character and a hot little car really bugged me on the second viewing), and one in particular, with clever callbacks throughout the movie, resonated with our contemporary political situation in ways the filmmakers may not have anticipated. To set the stage very quickly: Antman is under house arrest for something having to do with his involvement in the last Captain America movie (it's never really explained what law he broke). To entertain himself, he's taken up a variety of hobbies, including

Turn It On

Yes, I do need you to use that microphone. The presenter had just been handed a wireless microphone designed to fit around one of her ears. She held it in her hand for a moment, her expression bemused, then set it down on the table. Here we go again,  I thought to myself. Sure enough, with a smile on her face, and using excellent projection technique, the presenter proclaimed, "I won' be needing thi'. You can all hear me, can' you? I've go' a good 'rong voi', don' I?" At least, that's what I heard. Her vowels came through loud and clear. Her sibilants, though--consonants pronounced with the tongue and teeth--were almost inaudible, even with my hearing aids turned up all the way. If she'd been looking right at me--if, rather than being in a large conference room, we were having a face-to-face conversation (hopefully not in a noisy coffee shop, which presents a whole other level of difficulty)--I probably would've been fi

Having Church with Aretha

My wakeup call. I grew up in church. My father was a United Methodist minister. My childhood was marked by that: the frequent moves making it difficult to keep friends and, by the time I was in high school, to even make them in the first place; the many evenings when Dad was absent from our home due to a crisis, a call, or a meeting; and the weekends marked by Dad's Saturday night cramming for his Sunday sermon. It took a major illness to keep me from being in the pew for that sermon. As I grew older, I acquired church jobs of my own: watching children in the nursery, reading litanies and Bible lessons from the pulpit, eventually typing and printing the Sunday bulletin and monthly newsletter as Dad's church secretary. When teaching music proved more difficult than I expected, my 23-year-old attention span pivoted instantly to following in my father's footsteps, and going to seminary. I arrived at seminary already steeped in church life; and yet, in a way, I&#