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Archive for March, 2012

Reminder – Burning Down the House Party

 

Burning Down the House Blog Party Reminder. April Fool’s Day. Sunday, April 1. It isn’t my birthday, or even my birthday month, but who cares? One last throw down at 11 Marion Street before we vacate to less student-occupied pastures.

The food will be smorrebrod, open-faced Danish sandwiches. You can bring a condiment, a meat, a cheese, a fish, a veg, a fruit. Heck, we can probably even make smorrebrod with potato chips and dip piled on a slice of white. Please list what you will bring in the comments to avoid duplication. We will supply various breads and drinks, as well as cute toothpicks with Danish flags attached to the tops.

When: Sunday, April 1, 2012
What: Burning Down the House Smorrebrod Party
Time: 11:30am – 3pm
Where: 11 Marion Street 29403

Please RSVP in a comment, along with what food item you will bring. If anyone would like to attend virtually, we can arrange a Google hangout. Indicate your interest in a comment, and we will coordinate from there.

Here’s what we’ve got coming so far:

Miss TK and Lou Mello: Danish Havarti cheese
Cheryl and Bill Smithem: Bacon
Katy and James Moffitt: Carrot Cake or similar dessert
Eugene Mah: Prosciutto from Ted’s
Nancy and Carnell: He said he was bringing something cilantro. I will be wearing my chain of garlic, Carnell.
Judy Burnstein: Smoked salmon with capers and mustard
Krista Moyer and Kenneth Andrews: Spreadable things

Several other people told me they are coming, but I don’t know what they’re bringing. We have sodas, Coronas, water, breads, chips and some cheeses already on hand. Oh, and peanut butter and jelly.

Kate, if you and the family are still up for hanging out on Google+, we will have it up and ready at around noon our time (EST.) If anyone else reads this and wants to jump into the hangout, just look me up on Google+, install a little bit of software, and show up. We’d love to see you!

The I Opener

A sunny stroll through Arlington Cemetery put me in a reflective mood, as I looked out over the acres of sacrifice. Bone white headstones bobbed in a sea of green grass, monotonous yet momentous.  The riotous color of spring blossoms could not quell the guilty tranquility of walking in a place that I should have visited much earlier in my life, so as to appreciate the honor too many have earned.

I have been to Washington, DC often, but never subscribed to this pilgrimage. Andra, by my side, was my insistent guide. This is her favorite feature in our nation’s capital, she has reminded me many times. I’ll admit, if not for her I might never have seen this place.

To reciprocate, I forced her to go with me to see Song 1, the Doug Aitken nighttime projections at the Hirshhorn. She would not have gone on her own, she’ll admit it. Forty minutes of visual virtuosity, infinite loneliness and passion, as each solo rendition belted out for an absent or imagined soul mate. Yet there we sat together, mesmerized as the haunting refrains echoed off the architecture of The Mall, complicit in our union.

The moon maybe high

but I can’t see a thing in the sky,

‘Cause I Only Have Eyes For You.

Could it be that Narcissus, staring into a still, deep pool, fell in love not with his own reflection, but longed for the promise shackled within the depths, the Other Narcissus of his better angels?

Each morning, at that mundane but fateful moment when we first catch our reflection, do we see who we are? Or do we see our aspiration? After all, we use the mirror to improve ourselves; to comb our hair, shave or apply make-up, to cover a blemish or remove a bit of spinach from the teeth.

As I sat and let the soulfulness of Song 1 sink in, I wondered at how we all pine for the unreachable, always expecting that some how we will manage to touch it. I reflected on how much better a person I am for having found Andra. She is my inspiration, my mirror, the key for opening up my Other (literally, if you ask the Swedes). It is my luck that I get to croon for her. On this, the last day of her Birthday Month, I’ll do my best to belt it out:

You are here

And so am I

Maybe millions of people go by,

but they all disappear from view.

And I Only Have Eyes For You.

A guest companion post to yesterday’s, and an homage to The Accidental Cootchie Mama and all the joy she creates in my life. Happy Birthday Month 2012 one last time! -MTM

I Only Have Eyes For You

Steam blew out of my mouth and fogged my glasses against the backdrop of the night sky. Rubber-and-leather-clad feet crunched on gravel, echoing against the whip of flags in the wind, the sirens, the thrum of jet engines. Even with the ghostly pencil of stone carving a swath between a crescent moon and two planets, I sighed. The National Mall on a windy night wasn’t my idea of a fun slog after a zig-zagging day of work, dashing from place to place to place around the District.

Strains of music drifted over the cacophony of urban noise. The reason we came. MTM had a meeting at the National Endowment for the Arts on Wednesday, directing the mission of our dark perambulations. We came to see the thing someone there deemed “expletive-deleted (rhymes with mucking) amazing.”

Song 1 by Doug  Aitken at the Hirshhorn Museum. A circular building turned into a cyclorama canvas of throbbing loneliness and pulsing sound, threading all the way around the building in a seamless story told in the strains of a few bars of the same song. Forty minutes of  “I Only Have Eyes For You.”

Yeah. I know. I thought it would suck, too.

But, as I picked my way through a plot of pansies to sit on a pebble-encrusted wall, I forgot to blow heat onto my chilly hands. I didn’t remember to fidget because my perch was uncomfortable. Craning my neck didn’t feel unnatural. As a stereo of abandoned strains twirled in front of me, I soaked in the light of the moon, the beams of Jupiter and Venus, the strobing beat of the projected story………

And, I wanted to dance. To the various interpretations of the same thing. Set to the music of the mechanical thrum of a factory. The heat of rush hour traffic. The flinty strike of a match. Tilda Swinton in silk pajamas, scrolling dizzily around the darkened disc. Our feet made time to the beat overhead as we joined the song.

In the garden.

Along a crowded avenue.

Under the crescent moon.

Where millions of people have gone by.

I only had eyes for you, MTM.

Want to Play Post Office?

Post Office. It’s a place to mail a letter or buy a stamp. Perhaps, it’s a place to get a passport or rant about standing in line. For some of us, it’s a room to visit for some kissing. And some telling. Or not.

I didn’t play Post Office on my senior trip to Washington DC. I was almost eighteen. A goody-goody prude without much life experience or taste. Yet, I remember walking around, kicking my shoes through a white blanket of February snow. Giggling too loudly. Gesturing in that massive way teen girls do. Being interested in everything I saw and thinking it uncool to show it.

Surely, that sounds familiar?

Our principal was our chaperone, and, bless him, he was determined for us redneck hick children to experience some culture. He dragged us to nice restaurants. Museums. The Old Post Office.

Sprawling along Pennsylvania Avenue, it’s a pile of stone blocks with a clock tower that pokes through the skyline, demanding to be noticed. Its trussed atrium in the center is an ode to a lost era, granite and brass and iron fringing tables that enjoy the square frame of the sky, the kiss of perfect light.

I didn’t appreciate all that when I was seventeen. I remember being SO GLAD to find the Old Post Office because I could get a decent, recognizable meal. (AKA a hamburger.) I didn’t look up to see the sky or notice the glass elevator that crawled up the clock tower. That precious old building, solid everywhere, didn’t phase me in my quest for the osculating caress of a real meal in its cheap food court and tacky souvenir shops.

I’m glad I can go back. See things with different eyes. Sit in a soaring room alone, immersed in the sounds of foreign tongues cracking the prisms of light. My stomach full from a visit to a cheese shop around the corner. A place where all I want to do is look up. Gaze around. Feast on the beauty enveloping me, the symphony of noises that bounce off the hard edges of a glorious, forgotten, almost prostituted space.

When the Post Office kisses me. Well. That’s living.

WordPress Comment Craziness Part Deux

Finally!! An email from WordPress Support regarding the Recent Comment Unpleasantness at WordPress. Below, I have reproduced my question to support and their response. Please, use what you can, and take time in the comments to shoot holes in what you can’t, so that we can collectively refine our grievances in my next query.

Personally, I still have problems commenting from my phone. That’s a real issue for me, and I know for others, and they need to resolve it.

My Question:

> My commenters cannot log in since the recent comment changes. I changed my
> Settings – Discussion as recommended in the forums by unchecking the box
> requiring an email address to make a comment.
>
> Still, many of my non-WordPress commenters are having difficulty making
> comments. They are being sent into a frustrating loop that continually asks for
> their log in information. When they provide it, they get error messages. It is
> not limited to one or two users, and the errors are the same, leading me to
> believe it may be a bug on your end.
>
> I have a lot of engaged commenters, and I fear the longer this problem persists,
> the more of them I will lose and not get back. Thank you for any insight you can
> provide into resolving this problem. I’ll let my readers, and other bloggers,
> know what solutions you give me.

Their response:

Hi Andra,

As you may know, we have recently made some changes to the commenting feature. In order to protect your identity, if somebody tries to comment using your email address, they will have to log in to the account linked to that email address first.

You can find the official announcement here:
http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/recent-update-to-commenting?replies=4

This might be a source of issues for people who signed up for a WordPress.com or Gravatar account earlier, but do not remember that they did so, or forgot their password.
Some people also have more than one WordPress.com account, and can get confused when trying to sign in.

If some of your readers still have issues commenting on your site, could you ask them try to log out of their account, clearing their cache and cookies, and log back in? That should solve any conflicts with other WordPress.com accounts they may have.

You can find some detailed instructions on how to clear cache and cookies here:
http://en.support.wordpress.com/browser-issues/#clear-your-cache-and-cookies

Do not hesitate to contact us again if you have any other questions.

Best,

Jeremy
WordPress.com | Automattic

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