mercredi 17 décembre 2008

Elegance is as Baccarat does

Dogs, renovations and inaugural balls. A life.

November 2, 2008

This is how my dog looks at me. Waiting. At my disposition. Ready. Whenever I am.

"Posing, did I hear you ask? No," she chuckled, "that's Bacs for you. She always lies that way when observing me. I got lucky with the camera this time."

It happened to be in my hand, and turned on, which it always should be. I don't know why we don't have built-in cameras, actually.

"What's that, you say? We practically do? Oh, like our cell phones and PDAs and everything else that takes pictures. Gotcha'."

Gotcha'. Almost makes me miss Sarah Palin.

You Betcha'.


There's a renovation goin' on 'round here


There was a week when I nearly forgot.

Georges and José were called away to do a small job to pick up some additional income. This was part of the understanding, that since ours is a big job they would do some smaller jobs here and there to pick up additional revenue, but so was a finish date of mid-November for the exterior of the house. I'll let you judge for yourself if it looks done.

The entry courtyard masonry work counts, too.

Hm... nope. Not in my opinion.

Well, we gave up on mid-November by the end of October, and Audouin was able to digest that better after our dinner with Joaquim, back when he nearly walked off the job when we said we thought the ochre was a bit greenish, and certainly not like the approved sample.

Well, in our defense, it wasn't.

In his defense, we were comparing it to the wrong sample.

It turned out that he had completely covered the right sample the day he mixed what we thought was the wrong one that I hoped was the right one, which it turned out that it was.

Are you following?

He proved it by chipping off the wrong sample, and there it was, the right sample. Let me not tell you how aggrieved he was. Let me not tell you how aggravated I was that he had covered it with a wrong one.

Joaquim and Audouin really needed to meet and talk face-to-face anyway so that Audouin could understand why I had Joaquim doing this job, and why it is sometimes best to put up with slow progress rather than a bad job done fast, or, a fast job done badly, and so that we could get to the bottom of the color issue and find that we all had egg on our faces.

And remember, next time you're in a bind with two men, steak and apple pie with cinnamon (I scored big points there. See? I told you, Texas.) help every time.


And, there's maybe still going to be a ball, too.

We continue to struggle to get enough funding together to get the ticket prices where we feel they need to be, and some are losing heart. It's understandable. Early on, things went so fast that it felt like God was on our side, and not Sarah Palin's. We thought that Barack's democratic ascension to the presidency was proof enough of that (Just kiddin' ya'. Gosh, can't ya' take a little joke anymore?), and then the ball seemed to be manifest destiny, too.

Then, one major sponsor turned out to be -- um -- how can I put this politely? -- not serious?

Then, another decided to perhaps leave his money with the PIC for greater -- um -- effect?

Then, we had to lose the Reagan Center because -- um -- that's life?

Then, just when all seemed bleakest, word came that another sponsor was actually still considering underwriting our grassroots ball for the volunteers, a beverage company asked if we were still looking for sponsors (ya-ah), and a won-der-ful group in Northern California, whose mission is "to protect that area's wild and rural places and to support the peoples who are part of these native landscapes through volunteer-driven environmental and cultural education, land use advocacy and career development" said they would like to sponsor the ball and attend.

If this sponsorship comes through with enough to help bring our ticket prices down, or with support from some of the others still possible, it will be a dream come true on so many levels -- financial, philosophical, political, organizational, you name it. This is why we voted the Republicans out of Dodge, although I know that Barack wouldn't like my partisan tone (I am pretty much unrepentent), and even though I have met some through the Obama campaign who have given me Hope that Barack might not be nuts when he asks us to try and get along.

Still, I am a litte tiny bit worried that maybe there is something wrong with him if Republicans can support him. Not that there's anything wrong with Repubicans per se. I am just a progressive. Nothing much to do with that No-man's-land "centrist" stuff that basically means "I can find something to agree with everyone about".

Oh, I know that is the stuff of governance and plain old getting along and getting on, but there have to be some values worth defending to the tooth (and I think that Rahm was really pretty awful with George Lakoff. Really.). I keep hoping that these Obama Republicans are just as sick of being stuck and having unpardonably pitiful and impitoyable leadership in the White House, of being publically embarrassed in front of the entire world, although I don't know how much they agree with me that private insurance is not the way to finance health care for everyone and maintain price controls. Government has a role and a responsibility for the public's welfare. Really.

Anyway, if we got their sponsorship, it just might mean that the Maker did mean for us to have a ball. Note the Deist tone.

But, then there is the Peace Ball on January 20 at the Old Post Office, being sponsored by Democracy Now! I had heard about it some time back, but I didn't recognize the name associated with it. Some man. I heard they had $25 tickets, and I was so impressed that I wanted to give up and go have a good cry.

We'd never get to $25 tickets, short of a miracle, on which the world seems pretty short these days. Still, we were close enough to the beginning of our efforts to imagine that fund-raising could go wildly well-enough... nope. Well, they didn't either. They went for $165.

Now the 2009 Inaugural Peace Ball is selling last tickets for $1,000 and has an impressive list of confirmed speakers, as today's email from Amy Goodman (I got a blog reaction for that one) says:

You will be united with hundreds of friends who believe in,
support and work tirelessly for peace, social justice -- and independent media. Confirmed speakers include Alice Walker, Amy Goodman, Eve Ensler, Barbara Ehrenreich, Howard Zinn, Dick Gregory, Laura Flanders, and with performances by Jackson Browne, Michael Franti, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Toshi Reagon, Fertile Ground, Kate Clinton, and Holly Near.

And do you know who Kate Clinton is? My high school English teacher from junior year.

Not only do I need to walk with Thich Nhat Hanh, who -- according to one of our most wonderful helpers and supporters -- will be walking through the poorer sections of Washington with Ogegeko Ottoman of the Center for the Advancement for Nonviolence (see my earlier blog post about my feelings about the impact of this inauguration on a city strained economically already), but I positively need to see Kate Clinton.

Funny I never thought to Google her.

Kate Clinton is a self-described "fumerist," or feminist humorist, who has set out to prove that being lesbian can be, and often is, funny. She was raised in a large Catholic family. In young adulthood she was a "pre-Michael J. Fox conservative" who attended Le Moyne College,[1] a small Jesuit liberal arts college, and went on to teach high school English and coach.

In addition to comedy appearances and one-woman-shows such as Correct Me If I'm Right, All Het Up and Kate's Out Is In, she has written two books, Don't Get Me Started and What the L. She has written monthly columns for The Progressive and The Advocate.

She has made numerous appearances on television, and has served as grand marshal of gay pride parades. Clinton has produced several comedy albums, which was performed successfully in an off-Broadway production, published a book entitled Don't Get Me Started, and is working on a second book. When the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan began, she was a part-time commentator on CNN.[2]

Kate Clinton lives in New York City & Provincetown with her partner, Urvashi Vaid. Her 2006 tour marks her 25th anniversary as a professional stand-up comedian.

Clinton performed on Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Tour 2008.

Note the reference to teaching high school English. Yeah.

We were "Ms. Clinton's" last class at Jamesville-DeWitt High School in 1978. She was amazing. She was hysterical. She was awesome, although we didn't say that yet. When class got too noisy, Ms. Clinton stood up on her desk in the front of the room and delivered her lecture every other word. Yup.

Once, we heard a knock on the window. Heads turned to see who was out there.

Ms. Clinton.

Yup. We'd gotten a little noisy and hadn't noticed she had headed out the door, around the corner and out through the main entrance to get out attention. It worked.

One day at the end of the year, Ms. Clinton announced that she was taking a year to drive across country to Alaska in a beat up VW bus to write. She ended up one of the West Village's leading comedians, who happens to be gay and headlines the gay pride headlines. My brother nearly fell over backwards when I said, "Really? Kate Clinton is performing? But, that's my high school English teacher."

Ms. Landfear was another one, and wonderful, too.

Hi, Ms, Landfear!

God, I might have to go to DC now, even if I can't make this Ball work. I also can't possibly pay $1,000 even to find Kate Clinton after all these years.

Hi, Ms. Clinton, it's me! I.

Ah, Kate. Good to hear you again, and you look marvellous! Sounds just like junior year English class, except that the topic then was literature.

I need another miracle now, after the other one that hasn't happened yet.

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