Wednesday, April 25, 2012

White Wedding

“It’s a nice day for a white wedding
It’s a nice day to start again.”
  Billy Idol

Drove to Lafayette for the wedding of Brittany Bunte and Hans Rees, who we’ve known since he was in a high school band, LINT, with Dave.  Since guitarists Jim Satkoski came in from California and Erick Orr from Arizona, during the reception LINT did a reunion set featuring songs by the Ramones, Sex Pistols, REM, Billy Joel, and The Cramps.  Near the end Dave announced that the next one was going out to his dad (me). “Hate to Run” by the Shoes ended with a tremendous drum finale by Hans.  Five other acts performed, including Frank Muffin, featuring Hans and Brittany (who looked beautiful in a white dress) and five others, including a banjoist and horn section.  Hans wore a green vest under his formal suit and a green clip-on tie (Toni helped him put it on) identical to the men in the wedding party, seemed very happy.  Hans’s two kids stayed overnight with Dave, Angie, Becca, and James in a two-room suite and had breakfast with us.   James and 14 year-old Graham (named for Graham Parker whom I turned Hans onto) stayed up till 3 a.m. playing a video game.  I pigged out on the buffet and didn’t eat anything else the rest of the day except for a small bowl of chicken noodle soup.

Jonathyne Briggs loaned me a documentary about the Flaming Lips called “The Fearless Freaks: The Life and Times of an American Invention??” Wayne Coyne and the group started out as a no-talent (his words) punk band and evolved into one of the most original and long-lasting groups of their time.  One person described them as “Yes meets the Sex Pistols.”  Lead singer Wayne Coyne has led a fascinating life and seems like a person who would make a great friend.  He is quoted as saying, “A couple hundred years ago we probably would’ve been pirates, or something.  We would’ve got on some ship and sailed off somewhere and met a bunch of crazy [people and did some crazy things.”  One subplot in the documentary is bandmate Steve Drozd’s battle to get off heroin.  Many of Coyne’s songs are about death, but performed in a fun, birthday party-like atmosphere in live psychedelic concerts and on their music videos.

Monday was grandparents’ day at Discovery Charter School. Becca’s class used balloons and paper-mâché to make objects that kids will later turn into globes of earth. James’s teacher sent groups on a scavenger hunt where at each station we took photos.  Afterwards the teacher made CDs for each set of grandparents.  Impressive. At the school was former Porter Acres softball teammate Sam Johnston, whom I hadn’t seen in 30 years, with his wife and twin granddaughters. 

In Michigan for Miranda’s soccer game: She scored a goal and assisted on the other in a 2-1 victory for Park against Rogers. Next year the two Wyoming schools will combine into one, so it was the final contest between the two rivals.  Afterwards Chinese food at Phil’s we spent the night at Alissa and Josh’s apartment.  Their young dog Jerry can leap a good four feet in the air.  Josh recently put this on Facebook: “Step 1 to dressing like a grownup: iron your dress shirts.”

Learned in Roger Crowley’s “City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas” that around 1200 Crusaders led by Enrico Dandolo, Venice’s blind, 90 year-old doge, sacked Constantinople rather than try to take back Jerusalem.  Among the spoils taken back to Venice were bronze horses from the Hippodrome, which still adorn St. Mark’s Basilica.  The treachery resulted in riches for the city and a 300-year period of imperial glory for the avaricious, enterprising “lagoon dwellers” who made a living by trade. 

The Blackhawks are out of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but the Flyers eliminated Pittsburgh and will have my complete allegiance.  The White Sox have won four straight and rookie pitcher Philip Humber hurled a perfect game.  Chicago might have at least one decent team.  The Cubs are 5-11 and have the least home runs of any major league team.

Former Financial Aid director Leroy Gray died.  He started at the campus in 1970, same year as me, and was a Dodger fan because that team was the first with African-American players, not just Jackie Robinson but numerous others including pitchers Don Newcombe and Joe Black as well as Roy Campanella and Sandy Amoras.  In poor health a couple years ago Leroy seemed hale and hearty last week at the credit union.  Once Leroy patiently talked to a student for over an hour who then went to the bursar’s window trying to get Leroy’s decision overruled.  Normally the most even-tempered guy in the world, when he saw what she was doing, he lit into her verbally.

 “Mad Men” episodes are now set in the year 1966.  Civil rights is in the forefront.  Peggy has a lesbian friend and a counter-culture activist boyfriend. In the latest one of the partners drops acid, for god’s sake.

Two trials are in the news.  Former Presidential candidate John Edwards has been accused of violating campaign finance laws to support a woman who had his child.  What he did was no worse than what FDR, JFK, and others have done, and going after Edwards seems a waste of money.  More horrific is the case of Chicagoan William Balfour, accused of killing singer Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother, and seven year-old nephew Julian (nicknamed Juice Box).  Estranged from Jennifer’s sister, Jennifer’s brother-in-law supposedly had threatened to kill family members on several previous occasions.

For the Final Jeopardy category “Women’s Firsts” the question had to do with what cabinet post Juanita Krebs held under Jimmy Carter.  The first person knew it was Secretary of Commerce and doubled her score to $12,000.  The second person was incorrect and ended with $12,001.  Had the third person missed, she would have ended with $11,999 – and just two dollars would have separated the contestants, but she got it right.

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