Thursday, April 28, 2011

Special Relationship

If you care to wonder why you should care about the Royal Wedding today, I bet you're not alone. Shirley, (yeah, I did) there are many who either don't care at all, do care and are enchanted, or (like my friend Phil Rice) have no idea who's getting married. It's kind of a big deal: William will be king one day, the monarchy has a long tradition, Kate is passing up on the opportunity to one day be "First Lady Katie" Porter... etcetera, ya know. I get it. Aside from all of that, why should we Americans care about who gets married in that family? Seriously.

Marriage is at the heart (went there too) of a great many discussions and debates in our own country. We talk about gay marriage, tax breaks, immigrant status and green cards, tying the knot, infidelity, rights and roles of spouses, next of kin, and money. Marriage is very much about the people getting married, wouldn't you say? You might even go as far as to say that much of the idea of marriage has become about what two people want, rather than a union that benefits a community.


Yeah, I like to add my own commentary. But, isn't that how it used to be? Families, churches, and tribes would consent to an appropriate match. All of those people in the community were invited to join in that special day not as party guests, but as witnesses and grantors of legitimacy. What we are seeing in London today is exactly that. By many of today's standards, there is little reason for the fairly tale that endures across the pond. Why should a nation of democrats choose to pay for unelected aristocrats to live, uncontested, as kings? They may just be giving their consent to a family that exists to be caretaker of its people. Consider William - I remember him for most of his life - who has known since the concept was first able to be grasped that one day he would be king. His life was never his, but from birth a gift to his country. What a profound concept to rise every morning with the knowledge that each day is preparation for service - duty to his people; indeed duty to the world. Today he joins in holy matrimony with the woman who is the next piece of the puzzle that is British Royalty. As nature often grants, she will be the mother of the proceding monarch... and so it goes. The Royal Wedding is a commemoration of public consent.

Again, why should we care (over here)? Suppose we re-look at marriage as a foundation for society. Suppose we hold our relationships to, not just our own standards, but to higher ones. What if we looked at each day as preparation and at those with whom we picked to spend our lives as pieces to a broader puzzle? Sounds noble.

Congratulations to Prince William and Princess Catherine.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Love Me If You Can - In Memory of Don Bachelier

One way or another, we all get together to celebrate Don's birthday. Every April - always a party. It might have even qualified as one of Jaleo's "festivals" at some point. And, it always brought everyone together - managers, bussers, servers, hosts... Austin Grill... At a Don's Birthday Party, there was always dancing; we even had a dance contest one year that Lou and I commentated. There was always singing. There was always a good time had by all. That's all Don wanted for his birthday. Actually, that's not true; I remember him soliciting gifts one year. However, he genuinely enjoyed everybody getting together and not having to work. Those were the days when that was a priority. Shouldn't it always be? Good times.

Rest in peace, our friend. We'll try to keep the music down... maybe.


Friday, April 15, 2011


My friend TY prefers to read my travel writings that document when I'm actually traveling. Well, guess what? SO DO I! But, we'll just make do, shall we? Life's a journey, anyway. We'll just pretend this Mickey D's 2-for-a-dollar apple pie is a fresh strudel, and I'm making my way through Bavaria in search of an old castle with a weary, yet lovely Parisian mademoiselle who doesn't speak a lick of english.

Yeah. So, this time of year about 1978 years ago, we were wrapping up the prelude to the first Easter. The thought of fasting in solitary, eshewing temptation, in preparation for a painful end seems a taxing prospect. However, the Lenten struggle does not exist to tear us down, and it's certainly not a silly game or an afterthought; it is a preparation.

Friends will go. Co-workers disappear one by one. People move on, and things disappear. A cruel game, perhaps. Taxing, for sure. But, is it preparation for a better day? One would hope. The goal is that we become stronger. Deprivation can be an injustice or it can be what it is to the vine - the process by which we find the yield of the best grapes... and with great care, the best wine.

C'est manifique!

Almost there.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Lord's Work

We've all heard it. Someone, somewhere, has proclaimed ever so casually, to your disbelief, "you're doing the Lord's Work."

Really?! And, how would they know, exactly? It's quite puzzling, actually, if you care to think about it. Do people say that simply to commend someone for doing a task they, themselves, would never do? Do they actually find divine inspiration in arduous labor? Are they merely giving you a verbal high-five for a good deed? Or, is it something else?

Literally, if we're talking about Jesus, "the Lord's Work" could be broken down into several categories, including teaching, preaching, and healing. Carpentry seems a little too obvious. There could be a case made for feeding, though; we do have Him on record as assisting the catering of a wedding. Therefore, teachers, priests, doctors... and restaurant professionals are all doing the Lord's Work. If you work for the IRS, you are automatically disqualified. I'm not sure where that leaves Judas Priest.

Now, if we're talking about God's Work... well, that's a bit broader. Just to brainstorm a bit, that was creating the earth and all life on it, the oceans, the mountains, the sun, the moon, night and day, and man... and woman. He is essentially the CEO of all of that. So, where on God's green earth (ha-ha) would you find someone actually doing His job?


To quote a famous line, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." That must be it - the Lord's will is the Lord's Work! Why isn't this any clearer?

I heard the following the other day - "You already know what God wants you to do." We already know; that's something to think about. If we work from that assumption, perhaps the whole "Lord's Work" idea will present itself. It gives everyone a shot, anyway; even the tax collector.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Little Too Fabulous

Aaaaahhh! There are three things that give me the heebee-jeebees in television and cinema: graphic violent mutilation, gay love scenes, and actors breaking into song for no apparent reason. There was that Bollywood movie... and Richard Gere in Chicago (I know it was a Broadway musical), and now that ill-advised demonstration of lip-sync/dubbing by the cast and crew of the Grey's Anatomy show. And, I know something about lip-syncing (haha). Sorry; it's not them, it's me.
So, I'm just relaxing this evening after a long week of work and weekend of my new role of artist-vendor. No, I'm not actually selling artists, I'm selling my photos. Today, I sold a photo of the dimming blue sky over Cartagena, Colombia, was interviewed by a journalism student from American University, and impressed some ladies from The Smithsonian. Yes, it was a pretty good day. However, I am looking forward to tommorrow - a day off - and I'll be cooking... but, God-willing, no creepy musicals. Let the showtunes stay where they belong - the theater and in gay bars. Regia!