Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lisa's Surgery

Many thanks for all the well-wishes Lisa and I have received. She's going to have her surgery tomorrow morning, a hysterectomy, a "routine", but also major operation.

Hopefully she'll be home again by the weekend to begin her long recovery.

Obviously, I'll be a bit more scarce here, and on Facebook and MySpace, in the next several days. I will try to post Lisa's progress, whenever possible.

Again, we truly appreciate your concern and your prayers.

Lisa and I have wonderful friends.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Phantom's Legacy

Not long ago Lisa and I attended a live performance of Andrew Lloyd Weber's The Phantom of the Opera. We also invited Molly, the teenage daughter of Lisa's oldest friend, and her friend Lea, knowing that both girls were emphatic Phantom enthusiasts.

Bear in mind that I'm talking about two very serious fans here. Especially Molly. I mean, how many high school students today have read (and loved!) the original novel by Gaston Leroux, or even know the name of silent film star Lon Chaney?!

As we all expected, the production was magnificent and the four of us had a fabulous time. Still, as amazing as the musical itself was, experiencing the full-fledged frenzied excitement of our teenage guests during and, especially, after the performance was even more fun. It was impossible for Lisa and I not to get caught up in their breathless fervor. This will always be one of my favorite memories.

I discovered this poem late tonight and I'm not exactly certain why, but it brought back instant memories of that evening in the theater. I sense the heart of the Phantom's story in its own mysterious beauty.

Thought I should share this with Lisa, Molly and Lea, and with the rest of you.

Beautiful Creature
by Hafiz

There is a beautiful creature living
in a hole you have

so at night I set fruit and grains and little pots of wine and milk
beside your soft earthen

and I often sing to you,
but still, my dear, you do not come out.

I have fallen in love with someone
who is hiding inside
of you.

We should talk about this problem,
otherwise I will never
leave you

Friday, June 12, 2009

Actor Christopher Lee, Knighted!

Wonderful news!

Christopher Lee, one of my favorite actors, has been made a knight in Queen Elizabeth II's birthday honors list.

Bravo, Sir Christopher!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Old High School Year Book

I recently came across this delightfully nostalgic poem by Robyn Sarah, and had to share it.

The words themselves, plus this particular time of the year, left me daydreaming for a few quiet moments of my years at Jesse Stuart High School, in Valley Station, Kentucky, so long ago. Those times were, in truth, frequently frightfully brutal and emotionally oppressive for me. Not a happy time.

Still, somehow reading this poem smoothed out some of the brittle wrinkles, recalling a simpler time of self-discovery, first loves, and the beginning of the smoldering, growing ambition for the path I would eventually pursue. And, I'm reminded that, just perhaps, high school wasn't so horrible.

At least, not always.

Read now, and remember.

by Robyn Sarah

The yearbooks are out today, with the ink
barely dry on their gleaming pages,
the faint puke-smell of the new bindings.

On the bus, shagged and curly heads converge over
the disappointing spread of candid shots
on center facing pages - random snaps
where everyone who matters is blurred or too tiny
or was looking the wrong way when the shutter clicked,

and after they've each checked out their own
and each other's mug shots, and those of an acknowledged
hunk or two ('Too bad guys, doesn't he look
retarded in that picture?') you can almost
feel the thought rise: Is that it then?
four years reduced to this thin, already-
thumbed album of postage-stamp grins
and badly cropped halftones in a grey collage
of moments no one remembers?

Tomorrow they'll tote it back to school though,
to whip from their graffitied bags
in the mandatory feeding frenzy
for autographs — everyone's, please.
Now and only for a second
is let-down palpable in the air,
like a half-formed bubble wobbling
on the wand, then sucked back.
In a moment they'll swarm to their feet
and pull the bell (each at least once)
as they stream for the door, flashing shoulder-
freckles, wrist-bangles, navels like thumbprints in
June-white midriffs, damp wisps at the nape
wafting back a fine vapor
of girl sweat and spray cologne.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Return of Captain Spectre!

"Strike like Lightning! Swift! Sure! True!"

After a long hiatus my favorite online comic strip has returned!

I think it was about four years ago when I first discovered Tom Floyd's CAPTAIN SPECTRE online comic strip. It was big, bold, and blazing with action and extraordinarily imaginative ideas. The strip effectively captures a slice in history, perfectly resurrecting not only the conception of the adventure strip itself, but Tom also authentically evokes the pre-WW2 atmosphere of the pulp magazines, movie serials, and radio shows of 1939 into an amazing blend.

Over the years the strip has evolved, getting better and better with each new installment. There's nothing else quite like this rousing, and poignant, adventure anywhere.

I think it's brilliant.

If you haven't read CAPTAIN SPECTRE yet, then please follow the link below and immerse yourself in his exciting, dangerous world. The strip is FREE, but I do encourage you to support the Captain by becoming an official patch-wearing, coin-carrying member of the Lightning Legion. Believe me, once you see the cool premiums, you'll be glad you did.

What are you waiting for? The thrills are just a click away!