East Of Eden

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East Of Eden

Some Sunday Stuff: December 9th.


Albert Einstein (via Bored Panda)

 

It's been a while since I posted a "Some... Stuff". My bad. Allow me to rectify that today with some links that I find interesting, and I hope you will, too. First up, this post on a letter written by Albert Einstein in 1954 that recently sold at auction for millions. From Bored Panda: 

Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who transformed humankind’s understanding of nature and the universe. He laid the foundation for modern physics and changed the views on space, time, energy and mass. He is best known for proposing the theory of relativity and his mass-energy equivalence formula. In 1921 Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics “for his services to theoretical...

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The opposite of her.

Me, on my 3rd birthday, and Jos, 6 months, in 1985. 

 

"A sister is both your mirror - and your opposite." - Elizabeth Fishel

 

It's the sixth year since she left, quietly, in her sleep. Joscelyne- loud, and laughing, and singing, in lip gloss and heels and body mist- closed her eyes, and then... silence.

...
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The Preachers: Jerry Falwell, Sr.: When Religion & Politics Mix.

Jerry Falwell, Sr. (Image Source)

Ever since Donald Trump's run for president began over three years ago, there has been a whole lot of talk about the "Evangelical Vote," "White Evangelical Christians," or some amalgamation of "silent", "family", "value", "moral", and "voters".

None of this is new, of course. The Religious Right has been a force to be reckoned with since before The Gipper took the oath of office. I remember all too well the cringey time in the late 90s when the Lewinsky Scandal had taken over the news, and every socially conservative Christian televangelist, talking head or megapastor worth his holy oil was castigating Clinton and the country in general, for his, and our, wickedness. Bad times, Folks, bad times. 

But...

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The Problem is... you think you're in control.


Getting IVIG through a peripheral IV in my right hand in 2012. (photo, my own)

 

Just think of this post as a little corollary to Tuesday's.

I realized pretty much as I hit "Publish" on that post, there had to be some readers who sat in quiet reassurance that they could not, would not, never, ever be one who'd wind up without time.

After all, you're no MLK, JFK or RFK, so no one is gunning for you, right? Nor are you an alcoholic or addicted to drugs like Amy or Basquiat, and you never take sleeping pills, so you'd never overdose like Marilyn.

...
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The Problem is... you think you have time.


Clockwise from top right: Jean-Michel Basquiat (image cr.); Dr. Martin Luther King with wife, Coretta, and daughter, Bernice (image cr.); Amy Winehouse (image cr.); and Marilyn Monroe (image cr.).

 

It's Holy Week; Lent is almost over. Unlike last year, I did not write daily Lenten posts. I'm in a weird place when it come to producing work- blogs, sketches, paintings. First, I'm extremely busy with Zoe. Homeschooling, getting her to activities, and the daily demands of parenting leave me with less free time than when she was 2.

Second, January and February were stuffed with medical appointments: a port removal/ new port placement/ six rounds of plasmapheresis, blood work, an EKG, and a 12 hour stint at the ER after an anaphylactic...

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Little Lulu, we love you.


"Louise as the winsome French girl in Now We're in the Air (1927)." (Photo and caption from "Lulu Forever") 

 

I think the first time I can recall hearing the name "Louise Brooks" was years ago in a scene from "The Simpsons". In the 2002, season 13 episode "Weekend at Burnsie's", Mr. Burns prepares for a big investor meeting by practicing a speech with these lines: "So, profits will be thinner than...Louise Brooks negligee! You know, Louise Brooks, the silent star of Lulu?" While Mr. Burns got things a bit twisted (Louise played a character named Lulu, but the movie's English name is Pandora's Box, this quirky little tidbit stuck in my mind. Who was Louise Brooks, and being that she was a silent film star, how was she...

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Flashback Friday: Dr. Dre before NWA.

Dr. Dre in sparkly gear with a stethoscope before joining NWA. (Image Source)

 

On Thanksgiving, I finally got around to watching the 2015 film "Straight Outta Compton". I liked it, and Ice Cube's son is pretty much his spawn. He is rightfully and most truly, a junior.

The film starts in the years before N.W.A. Eazy-E is a drug dealer. Ice Cube is in high school (dealing with perhaps the scariest school bus commute this side of the Middle East.). And Dr. Dre is spinning records as a DJ... decked out in shiny and/ or sparkly jackets.

Okay, okay, so, this was the early to mid- 80's, we had Rick James being super-freaky, Prince wondering about doves crying, and MJ in rhinestone everything.

...
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For Pod's Sake!: Week of November 27th

I'm a huge podcast fan (as longtime readers of this blog know), and I've decided to start (yet another!) new series just to catch you up on my favorite listens. So here goes:

Donna Summer (Image Source)

Check out Hit Parade's Chris Molanphy on the fasinating history of disco diva Donna Summer:

Donna Summer was a hit-maker for two decades and a dance floor deity for more than three. Her collaborations with Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte were formative in dance, electronic, and rock music, influencing everyone from David Bowie and Blondie to Madonna and Moby. But the rock establishment was stinting in its appreciation—whether at Comiskey Park in Chicago in 1979 or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the 2000s. This month, we examine how...

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The Preachers: Jim & Tammy Faye: Part 4.


Jim Bakker in screen captures from his current show, "The Jim Bakker Show". (Google Images)

 

This has been one long, crazy story. Nearly unbelievable, except, very true. Sadly true. As a Christian, especially as one with roots in Pentecostalism, I felt shame and anger while reading about the exploits of Jim Bakker. Yes, I know I personally have nothing to do with the man or his ministry. But the greed, lies, and corruption is reflected back on the entirety of the Body of Christ. We all look awful to the very world to which we are called to be salt and light.

While reading for this series, I swung by the library and picked up Tammy Faye's 1996 autobiography, Tammy: Telling It My Way. Published in the decade after PTL's fall and about...

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Even in my sleep.

 

"Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart,
until, in our own despair,
against our will,
comes wisdom
through the awful grace of God."

-Aeschylus

 

 

...
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Flashback Friday: That way awkward dinner party at Bobby Kennedy's in May '63.

James Baldwin, left, and Bobby Kennedy. (Google Images)

 

By the time Robert F. Kennedy was killed in 1968, he had come to be viewed by many as a politician who cared deeply about Civil Rights, poverty, and oppression. 

But it wasn't always that way. In fact, just five years earlier, at a private dinner party he hosted in NYC with some of Black America's most elite, he was decidedly unwoke.

In Lawrence O'Donnell's new book, Playing With Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics, he recounts some of the events of the ill-fated shindig:

...
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The Preachers: Jim and Tammy Faye: Part 3.

Image and caption from PTL.

 

When PTL fell apart, I was just 5. I didn't know about the sex scandals, but I do remember my parents discussing the Bakkers' outsized lifestyle. The mansions, the cars, the blingy lifestyle- it came up repeatedly. What stuck in my mind, besides how disappointed my mom was (she was a SAHM of 3 and Pentecostal; of course she watched the Bakkers), had to be the air conditioned dog house. We didn't even have AC in our house. We depended on a series of electric fans for three more years, and that little yellow Cape Cod got very hot during the summer months. Yet, their dog chilled in cool comfort. Yup, decades later, I still remember that.

The lobby of the Heritage Grand Hotel. (Photo Credit: Robin...

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The Preachers: Jim & Tammy Faye: Part 2.

 

Jim and Tammy Faye (Image Source)

 

It was thirty years ago that the tremendous house of cards that Jim Bakker had constructed out of TV ministry, millions in donations, and a Christian theme park, collapsed. It was a tremendous and precipitous fall, and when the dust settled, the ministry was gone, Jim was behind bars, and Tammy divorced him, ending their more thirty year marriage. 

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. With the end of Part 1, the Bakkers and PTL was just beginning to get huge. It was the late '70s, and America was primed for some religiosity. The 1960s, that decade of hippies, an ever-burgeoning American middle class, and the collapse of Jim Crow was simultaneously a decade of assasinations, political...

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Come Clean: 90s Music Videos Had Me Wanting to Go to a Carnival. Or the Shore.


Jordon Knight gave it to us back in '99- the baggy cargos, the long sleeve turtle kneck sweater, the racially-mixed back up dancers.

Seriously, besides a love of belly shirts, glittery eye shadow, and overly large (but super comfy) pants, 90s singers loved them some amusement park backdrops (or at least the music video directors hired to make it appear that way).

Mariah Carey rollerbladed in daisy dukes, serenading us about her "Fantasy" of rollercoaster rides and on BET and urban radio, rapper O.D.B.

Mya snuck out of her overprotective father's house to canoodle with her bad boy... on a giant ferris wheel.

...
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The Preachers: Jim & Tammy Faye: Their Incredible Rise & Shocking Fall.

Jim And Tammy Faye Bakker in all their 1980s glory. (Image Source)

 

I started composing this post months ago. I stopped partially because my blogging, as a whole, slowed way down at the start of the schoolyear (Z is now in second grade, and homeschooling demands more and more time). But mainly, I didn't finish this particular post because reading up on Jim Bakker pulled me into some kind of weird online hole.

Really. Do a quick Google search, and you'll see what I mean. 

Complicating things further, Jim is the first subject in this The Preachers series who is actually living (his ex-wife Tammy passed away a decade ago after a long battle with cancer). He's pushing 80, has been in some form of ministry for over half a century...

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Come Clean: I still cringe at "macaroni with the cheese".


My face is literally that of Mase every. single. time. I've heard this song over the past two decades. (Video screen capture via YouTube)

 

Twenty years ago, Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs shot to the top of the charts and became a household name when he crossed over from the world of hip hop and onto the pop charts in the wake of Biggie Small's murder. His tribute to his slain artist and best friend, "I'll Be Missing You" was the number one song for most of the summer, only losing the top spot once Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" was released after Princess Diana's tragic death.

Puffy was, in 90s nomenclature, all that. He was coming out with shiny suits, explosions and bling. He was about the benjamins, and was even tap dancing with

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Come Clean: I don't know why Al B. Sure's face...


...was so angry in the 1988 video for his hit song, "Nite and Day". Like Dude snarled through the whole thing... and he probably growled, too, but the track drowned it out.

The video opens with the sun rising over the NYC skyline, and we see Al atop a roof watching... and looking unusually angry. Then a trio of video girls pass by and we see Al again, winking... with something like aggression. He tilts his head so hard when he does that wink, I feel my neck starting to spasm. It's reminiscent of that Michael Jackson "Thriller" zombie-neck move, actually.

His dance moves are jerks and whips of his limbs. His nostrils flare. He stares down the camera, all while mouthing lyrics like, "Believe me when I say that I do care, I can tell you"

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Some Sunday Stuff: September 24th.


Happy Sunday! It's been a couple of months since my last "Some... Stuff", so let's kick off the start of Fall with some links, shall we?

(Getty Images)

 

First up, this Motherboard story that rebuts the claim that Toys "R" Us's recent Chapter 11 filing is due to the company being anti-tech. On the contrary, Toys "R" Us has historically embraced advancements in toy techs, being a huge seller and promoter of video games going back to the 70's. From the story:

The rise of digital gadgets and the ease with which they've both replaced physical toys and made the physical toys people do want easier to ship may have led to Toys"R"Us into massive bankruptcy—the third largest in US history.

...
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Throwback Thursday: Let it be.

Note: This post first appeared at my old blog, Far Above Rubies, on October 4, 2010. ~Alisha

 

 
 
I'm sitting in the local diner writing this on my laptop, the diner being every good Jersey girl's version of "The Max" that Zack and Slater hung out in "Saved By The Bell." But I'm by myself, sans Lisa and Screech, so I guess this would be like a deleted "Jesse studies alone” scene that wouldn't even make the DVD collection. Of course, circa 2010.
 
I've got "Eat Pray Love" with me, which is pretty sad because I've been lugging this now worn book around for a month and Liz is just in India. Considering I typically devour books the way I just devoured the tuna triple decker I ordered, quick and easy, my inability to read...
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Flashback Friday: That time Albert Einstein hosted Marian Anderson.


There's a lot I've just found out about Albert Einstein. For example, who knew old Al was quite the ladies' man, a master at science and charm?

But another fact that I somehow missed about Einstein was his stance on civil rights. He so abhorred racism, he publicly spoke out against it. From Snopes:

In May 1946, Einstein made a rare public appearance outside of Princeton, New Jersey (where he lived and worked in the latter part of his life), when he traveled to the campus of Pennsylvania’s Lincoln University, the United States’ first degree-granting black university, to take part in a ceremony conferring upon him the honorary degree of doctor of laws. Prior to accepting that degree, he delivered a ten-minute speech to the assembled...

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