Words from a Recently Diagnosed Introvert

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Puke and Awe

As if I wasn't already nauseous enough from returning late last night from a nearly week-long ag conference in DC where one of the main topics of much discussion was the very legitimate concern of the Walmartization of our food supply and factoids and visual depictions of the current conditions of factory farms that would make Upton Sinclair roll over in his grave...

As if I wasn't already nauseous enough from no days off in over two weeks, an average of 3-4 hours of sleep/night in the last week and the over-consumption of bad conference center coffee, refined sugar, bleached flour, and sub-par wine...

As if I wasn't already nauseous enough from having to get up early this morning for a three hour cadaver anatomy lab wherein the cadavers had most of their facial features, hands, feet, and body hair still in tact and the smell of formaldehyde and raw meat was so strong you could taste it...

...I returned home and someone had sent me this via email

You'll find me pale and sunken, curled up in a fetal position in a state of dismay, experiencing the occasional dry heave.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

6 Degrees of Hutu

Some strange and serendipitous things have happened in the last couple of weeks:

1) The pope dies and I have visions of him in my periphery
2) I get re-inspired to listen to lots of Ricki Lee Jones
3) I unwittingly rent "Hotel Rwanda" within a few days of the 11th anniversary of the 1994 genocide
4) I discover that Ricki Lee Jones has a link on her website to photos taken during the genocide, by a photographer friend of hers
5) I learn that the Rwandan people are 90% Catholic
6) Several members of the Rwandan Catholic diocese - priests, bishops, and nuns condoned and even aided in the killing of Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
7) The Vatican chose not to excommunicate most of the aforementioned
8) The Pope hadn't visited Rwanda since 1990
9) I rediscover that in 1984, ten years prior to the genocide, Ricki Lee Jones recorded a song called, "Theme for the Pope"
10) In the '30s the Pope enrolled in a theater arts program to study playwrighting


I'm pretty sure that if I did some more stealth research I would come up with some evidence that Ricki Lee Jones had an affair with Don Cheadle. Or that she's the Pope's love child. One of the two.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Hope Springs Eternal

It smells like spring and I have hope.
I'm not sure it's eternal.
It's a work in progress.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Ricki Lee Jones

Whatever happened to her?

She was the perfect female vocalist. A fair combination of Joni Mitchell (only hipper), Nina Simone (only more eclectic), and Lhasa (only...well, Lhasa is pretty close to perfect). She hasn't released an album since 2002 and hasn't toured in like the last decade. I hope her manager doesn't let her re-release "Gravity" one more time or she might lose me as a fan.

I consider Pop Pop to be her most brilliant album. For anyone out there who has written Ricki Lee Jones' music off for one reason or another, give it another try - buy this album. I guarantee you'll find something on it that gets right under your skin.

However, I did find this interesting link on her website that gives me hope she has moved on and is doing some really interesting things with her life, or at least supporting and promoting people who are.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Papal musings

A strange thing happened last night, the night of the day Pope John Paul died. I returned home from my yoga teacher training, exhausted and a little uncomfortable in my skin, and couldn't stop seeing visions of the Pope in the periphery, both with my eyes opened and closed.

Now, I wasn't particularly moved by the passing of the pontiff. I am not Catholic, wasn't raised Catholic, and have no desire to be Catholic, so it wasn't that kind of guilt-ridden haunt. In fact, and most certainly unfairly, I hear of the Pope's long-term illness and passing, and immediately think, "maybe this will make room for a slightly less sexist, homophobic, dogmatic individual to step into the coveted Cloth."

However, at the same time I think about how much he and I don't have in common - and the list is long: his stubborn, unwavering pro-life stance, his antiquated notion about women in the priesthood, his rampant anti-gay pontification, his virtual disregard for Central American Catholics and their pleas for help in their social justice efforts during too many bloody civil wars (too many of them aligned with seemingly Marxist revolutionary groups), his wholesale rejection of Liberation Theology, picking and choosing which military conflicts he would use his influence to condemn, the punitive wrath he wielded when anyone disagreed with him, etc, etc, -I remember that when he visited Cuba, he publicly scolded the US for the inhumane nature of the embargo. He also stepped into the Palestinian/Israeli crisis without a Catholic agenda, seemingly preaching nothing more than peace. He was apparently an avid outdoors/sportsman who, in the early days of his priesthood, would take youth on hiking, canoeing, and camping trips in hopes of making a connection via the natural world. And, he let Mother Theresa do her slightly more progressive thing without public condemnation.

I guess there are a few areas of common ground on which the Pope and I could have had an intelligent conversation. Maybe he was passing through just to remind me of this.