East Of Eden

"A curious mix of the relevant and reverential"

Lent- Day 16: Ponderings of the heart.

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 Zoe in 2013. The pout is strong in this one.



Around Zoe's second birthday, we took her for a check-up at the pediatrician. She wass weighed, measured and given shots. Thankfully, she didn't scream while receiving the inoculations. She was clearly unhappy, and cried a bit, but it was in a "Hey, that HURTS! Stop it!"- kind of way. When it was done, the doctor instructed us to go down the hall for blood to be drawn to be sent to a lab for tests. This had happened around her first birthday, so it was a surprise.


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Lent- Day 15: Platinum fighter jets and withered grass.

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Kanye's missus revealed new platinum blond locks in Paris yesterday while attending Fashion Week. Kim is styled by her other half, and he seems to like her looking very edgey. I... I... well, I hate it. Like majorly. But my opinion is irrelevant. People reports that,


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Lent- Day 14: The last (and first) man on Earth.


Will Forte as Phil Miller in Fox's "The Last Man on Earth" (Source)



Today I watched the new Fox show "The Last Man on Earth". It stars Will Forte as Phil Miller, a guy who survives a massive epidemic in the year 2020. He's left in a silently creepy world, filling his time taking priceless paintings and other tchotchkes (Oscars, a Heisman trophy, Hugh Hefner's PJs) to his new home- an empty McMansion in Tucson, Arizona. Check out the videos below:


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Lent- Day 13: Broken record records.

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Drake (Billboard); cover art for his latest smash album (Time)



 From Forbes:


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Lent- Day 12: Trashed teddies and trust.

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I snapped the picture above while out running errands this afternoon. I spotted what Zoe calls "The sad teddy bear on the ice" set out for trash. Filthy, wet and torn, I felt sad looking at it. Zoe had brought her stuffed Curious George along for the outing, and I couldn't help but compare the two. George, clean and dry in Zoe's arms, her favorite since Christmas, very much loved. I wondered if that bear was once some other little girl's beloved cuddly friend... now discarded.


I spoke to my good friend Kandi who lives overseas a few hours later via video call, catching up on family, career, and Zoe. She talked over the past decade of her life which has seen her move 12 (!) times, change jobs,  live in two different states, different countries, travel the world, and marry. A number of times she has wondered how she'd go on- laid off, owing thousands in school loans and having her heartbroken in a failed relationship. But in every situation, God always made a way. Actually, not just a way, but the best way


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Lent- Day 11: Burn after reading.


William Powell (JP Laffont / Sygma / Corbis)



In Harper's there's an interesting story about William Powell, who in 1971 at age 19, "published The Anarchist Cookbook, a guide to making bombs and drugs at home. He spent the next four decades fighting to take it out of print." (H/T: Micah Mattix)


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Lent- Day 10: Bookends.


Our poor little Civic. :-(




I started the week feeling frightened by my father's declining health. I'm ending it feeling shaken by a car accident.

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Lent- Day 9: Frank Underwood doesn't understand Jesus.


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(House of Cards, Season 3)




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Lent- Day 8: Wordless, yet their voices are heard the world over.


Photo taken by K.


Psalm 19 is an utter masterpiece. C.S. Lewis said "I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world." It was part of my devotional reading this morning, and in a month of arctic temps, icy sleet and far too many gray skies, it was like a lovely bit of Spring. 


The first few verses popped out at me (despite the fact I've read this chapter I don't know how many times in the past):

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Lent- Day 7: Suffering as muse.

The Scream



"No longer shall I paint interiors, and people reading, and women knitting. I shall paint living people who breathe and feel and suffer and love—I shall paint a number of pictures of this kind. People will understand the sacredness of it, and will take off their hats as though they were in church. I shouldn't like to be without suffering. How much of my art I owe to suffering!"

-Edvard Munch (as quoted in George Heard Hamilton, Painting and Sculpture, 1880-1940, 1967 and Joy Schaverien, The revealing image: analytical art psychotherapy in theory and practice, 2009)


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Lent- Day 6: If your tweeting this it's too late.


Top, Chris Brown (source); Middle, Amber Rose (source); Bottom, Khloe Kardashian (source)



Another day, another stupid celebrity twitter tirade.


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Lent- Day 5: My tears have been my food.

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"My dad is dying."



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Lent- Day 4: Every breath you take.

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H/T: My brother Joe




I use to watch Brian Williams most nights on NBC's Nightly News. I had started watching the program as a kid when Tom Brokaw was at the helm (I know, I was such a wild one). When Williams took over, I just kept on watching. He seemed to be cut from that some mold as Brokaw, and was like one of the last of a dying breed of news anchors. The days of Jennings, Wallace and Cronkite were over, and most people in my generation either skimmed through online sites for their news or tuned into The Daily Show. I did too, but I still liked clicking on the TV after work and having the nation's top stories told to me (relatively) straight with no chaser (but with too many commercial breaks).

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Lent- Day 3: A chasing after the wind.



(Marie Claire)



Last week, as Kanye West's post-Grammy rant went viral, my brother Joe sent me a simple text:

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Lent- Day 2: Empires do fall.




Last month Fox premiered the soapy drama "Empire", starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. Howard plays Lucious Lyon, a rapper turned entertainment mogul (head of "Empire Records"), opposite Henson as his recently released from prison, loud-mouthed bossy ex-wife, Cookie. Together they have three grown sons, all who work for the family business: the oldest Andre (Trai Byers), is a married, college-educated accountman helping to make the company go public; the middle son, Jamal (Jussie Smollet), is a semi-closeted gay R&B singer trying to gain his dad's respect; baby brother Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) is a wild, rapping lothario who's clearly his daddy's favorite.


The show is growing into a television version of a wunderkind. According to Entertainment Weekly

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Lent- Day 1

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"Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."



Those are the words typically spoken by the pastor, deacon or administrant while spreading ashes on the foreheads of the penitents gathered for Ash Wednesday services- at least at Episcopal Churches

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Way down in the hole.


My interview with Tray Chaney who played Poot on "The Wire" was so much fun, I wanted to keep it going. See, I've caught some flack from a couple friends over my enthusiasm for the show... and you know, I wear that as a badge of honor.


I do like a number of other shows, though (ask K about my borderline obsessive knowlege of all things "Simpsons"). As it turns out, some of those shows have writers who share my feelings for "The Wire", and quite casually work them into their episodes. So off the top of my head, here's some I've spotted over the last few years. If you can think of more, please comment below.


Speaking of "The Simpsons", in a season 23 episode, "The Ten-Per-Cent Solution", Krusty lands a new adult-themed show on "HBOWTime" thanks to his new (and former) agent Annie Dubinsky (voiced by the late Joan Rivers). While the show airs, things go awry, and Moe, watching it live at the bar is left wondering why he pays extra for the channel.

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Creatives Space: Tray Chaney

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It is in no way hyperbole to call me a superfan of "The Wire". I've watched all sixty episodes twice. I've sat and had long discussions with friends and associates alike on the way the show depicts governmental politics, inner city schools, drugs, unions/ blue collar jobs, Baltimore, and homosexuality. I got a copy of show creator David Simon's "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets" and watched the entire 1990s NBC "Homicide" series it inspired. "The Wire" also got me on to "Treme", and has led me to becoming a fangirl of its actors. Michael K. Williams as Omar is a revelation; so is his turn as Chalky White in "Boardwalk Empire". I followed Wendell Pierce from Baltimore, down to NOLA and even on up to New York City for Michael J. Fox's shortlived NBC sitcom.


And whenever I'd come across a story online about any of "The Wire" cast, I made sure to Tweet it out. A few weeks ago, while going through my RSS feed, I saw a link to a short story on The Root about actor Tray Chaney, and after a quick read, clicked on the little blue birdie. To my surprise, Tray favorited that tweet and then followed me.

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Some Saturday Stuff: January 24th.


Happy Weekend.


We woke up to snow this morning here in Jersey, and we may get some more early next week. Or not, since some meteorologists said we would this past Wednesday and there wasn't even a dusting. So we'll see.


Snow is plain depressing to me. Actually, most of winter is. Not enough daylight or sunshine makes for one sad Alisha. 

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Can other people's expectations change your reality?





I just finished a recent This American Life podcast and it really touched me. As a disabled person, I could relate to the main subject of the hour, Daniel Kish... I mean, of course, in my own way. My doctors were once taken aback by the fact that I live in an apartment building with a flight of stairs I must utilize in order to get in or out. 


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