Lisa was a year behind me in high school, and while I can't say I knew her, I certainly admired her and the family she and John created.
I remember chatting with her at the last high school reunion, and she was so sweet and endearing. What a shock to know she is gone. Just doesn't seem possible or fair.
Copied below is the obituary that appeared in the Fresno Bee. Also included are the guest book entries, which the Bee said would be removed soon, and I felt the need to preserve them.
Oh, John...I am so sorry.
Hunter S. Thompson
There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring breeze on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation. It's a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die.
~ Gonzo Papers, Vol. 2: Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80s (1988)
Jeremy Brett's performance as Sherlock Holmes generated a worldwide fan base for Brett. Jeremy Brett (born Peter Jeremy William Huggins) died in 1995 of heart failure related to a childhood case of rheumatic fever (and smoking). Some say he died from prolonged grief after the death of his second wife in 1985. In The New York Times obituary, Mel Gussow wrote: "Mr. Brett was regarded as the quintessential Holmes: breathtakingly analytical, given to outrageous disguises and the blackest moods and relentless in his enthusiasm for solving the most intricate crimes." Below are a few more details found on Wikipedia about Jeremy Brett's life and death...
Gregory Bateson (9 May 1904 – 4 July 1980) was a British anthropologist, social scientist, linguist, semiotician and cyberneticist whose work intersected that of many other fields. Some of his most noted writings are to be found in his books, Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972) and Mind and Nature (1979). Angels Fear (published posthumously in 1987) was co-authored by his daughter Mary Catherine Bateson.
Gregory Bateson - Wikipedia
- 60 Minutes to watch... and a lifetime to act
- Watched this piece on 60 Minutes and was so impressed with Paul Farmer and the organization he co-founded Partners in Health (PIH). The stories literally moved me to tears--I sent a donation right after the segment.
Farmer is a smart determined guy who is making health care available in some really troubled parts of the world like Haiti and Rowanda. His approach is collaborative--he doesn't want these places to be totally dependent on foreign workers, so he's training natives to take care of their own people. He's also being smart about getting drugs to people in need at lower costs by negotiating with manufacturers to produce lower cost generics. He's treating people with AIDS in these countries, drug resistant TB. As he put it, the health care PIH can provide is better than some regions receive in the U.S. Indeed, some U.S. health agencies are using PIH as a model for inexpensive health care delivery. Tremendous impact. The dedication he has is obvious. These are our heroes. These people must be the examples our children follow and admire.
Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright
Pastor Jeremiah Wright - In Context - With all the controversy about Pastor Jeremiah Wright's words, I wanted to get a bit closer to the context. I concluded that the news hysteria is misguided. In context, the sound-bites make perfect sense and don't justify the inflammatory response generated by the out-of-context sound-bites repeated ad-nauseum by our shameful media.
When we adopt the opinions of the media, accepting as proof a sound-bite, we risk being mislead. We risk public opinion being corralled by a minority with an agenda. Again, we've been fooled.
That Inner Warmth - I absolutely love this Leanne Lim-Walker self-portrait, which was featured on a Popular photography magazine cover. Something about the composition, light, and beautiful face keeps pulling me back to this image.
My cousin Marc Roach was a kind, gentle, and adventurous man--the kind of person who, after you met him, you'd say, "Damn, I want to get to know that guy better!" Sadly, none of us will have that opportunity. Below is the obituary written by his father LeRoy--with kibitzing/editing from his brother Mike.
Heard a fascinating interview with Joaquin Phoenix on AMC's Sunday Morning Shootout with Peter Guber and Peter Bart. Phoenix was there with director James Mangold promoting their movie Walk the Line. I heard somewhere that Phoenix had been odd and uncooperative in his interviews. However, in this one he was great, giving sensible, insightful answers.
Here are some highlights.
NOTE: Just heard that Phoenix has decided to quit his acting career...to pursue his music career?
Salma Hayek and Baby Valentina - Looking gorgeous...Oh, and the baby's cute, too!
Salma Hayek and Baby Valentina
It's like a Got Milk? ad ... but it's not :)
Jessica Alba Poster for Good Luck Chuck
Gorgeous series of images by the ever creative portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz. This image of Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella is just one of about seven photos from the Stars in Wonderland series by Annie Leibovitz.
Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter
Miss Potter - Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter - Wonderfully charming, touching, and emotional biographical film of the famous children's author Beatrix Potter. But this is not a childish film, though it starts out quite sweet as it sets up the Victorian period, Potter's family, and her personality as an imaginative artist and writer.
Absolutely delightful interview with John Cleese by Michael Parkinson. Six parts on Youtube. Enjoy...
Videos were removed...bummer... Perhaps there's another source.
Domino Harvey - Bounty Hunter
Domino - Watched Tony Scott's film Domino and was thunderstruck. From a cinematography perspective, this was a huge risk. Lots of experimentation with film processing, hand cranking the camera, double exposures, etc. From DVD extras, it sounds like poor Director of Photography Daniel Mindel lived in fear every day that footage would be lost in the experiments.
But those risks in cinematography reflect the risks of the story and its main character, the real-life beauty, model, and bounty hunter Domino Harvey, portrayed by Keira Knightley.
- Received this by email. Totally hilarious and, as per George Carlin, so very insightful. Carlin's wisdom grows with age.
George Carlin on Aging
Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. "How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!"
You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key. You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. "How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16!
- The interview: Robert Pirsig | By genre | Guardian Unlimited Books
- "The Seventies bestseller Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was the biggest-selling philosophy book ever. But for the reclusive author life was bitter-sweet. Here, he talks frankly about anxiety, depression, the death of his son and the road trip that inspired a classic."
Had Nassim Taleb been born in any other period, he would have certainly been put to death.
~ Carine Chichereau, co-translator of TBS.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is one fascinating guy. His two books Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable have been sooooo thought provoking AND entertaining.
I read both in the span of a couple weeks (way too fast) and am now reading each again. The concepts are deceptively simple on the surface...and then so deep. Their counter-intuitive nature makes it hard to grasp their significance in a 30-second sound bite.
Beyonce Bidet CD - What the hell were Beyonce's marketing people thinking? B' Day?
- Bidet - bi-'dA
- A bathroom fixture used especially for bathing the external genitals and the anal region
About the last thing I think about when admiring Beyonce is...well, actually...
Pachelbel Rant by Rob Paravonian is totally hilarious! Wonderful video!
What a Teacher Makes by Taylor Mali - Found this video recently, and the performance knocked me out of my PJs. Below are both the and of Taylor Mali's poem/rant. Absolutely fantastic. BTW, there are a couple performances available online. IMHO this one is the best.
Russell Crowe's Eulogy for Steve Irwin
Russell Crowe Eulogy Steve Irwin - When I heard that Steve Irwin, the Crododile Hunter, had been killed by a sting-ray, I was shocked and saddened. As news coverage of his death swelled, I was somehow comforted to learn that so many others felt the same....Who knew this wacky, passionate Aussie had such an impact on so many people?
Russell Crowe, a good mate of Irwin's, gave such a touching eulogy at the memorial service for Steve Irwin, a service that was televised around the world. I've transcribed Russell's words below. Truly moving. Here is the video...
As a driver, Wayne Gerdes is schizophrenic - one moment he's driving like an old lady, the next like Michael Schumacher. He's a maniac on a mission, getting 59-plus miles per gallon with an unmodified Honda Accord. However, it's not the car that generates the great mileage; it's the driver. Wayne's driving philosophy can be summed up with two of his favorite driving techniques...
Ben Stein wrote a beautiful obituary/eulogy for President Gerald Ford. His closing is just priceless, and I have to quote it here. Stein said that President Gerald Ford was...
Perfectly Stein, the quote balances humor with an honest sentiment of respect. Well done Ben!
Keisha Castle-Hughes got an early start in her professional life. At 12, she was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award (Oscar) for her wonderful portrayal of Paikea in Whale Rider. Four years later, she's in the holiday feature film The Nativity Story playing the Virgin Mary. In a strange parallel with the film, the 16 year-old Keisha has admitted to being .
Not an immaculate conception, the father is long-time boyfriend Bradley Hull. The couple are not currently married. Indeed, Keisha's own parents never married, so perhaps we should expect the same with Keisha and Bradley. Whatever the case, both are said to be "happy and excited" about the coming child -- though Vatican officials certainly are not. They reportedly uninvited Keisha from the The Nativity Story's world premiere being held at the Vatican.
I dearly hope Keisha remains proud and true to herself amidst this political storm. I also hope she and Bradley finds great joy in the birth of their child. As with The Nativity Story...
This looks very interesting. Plan to summarize...As I read it, I'm not sure it can be summarized. His words confuse me, which I think is by design, given Lesson #1...As I read more I realize this is a devastating indictment of the school system. How brave.
The Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher
by John Taylor Gatto
1991 New York State Teacher of the Year
Call me Mr. Gatto, please. Twenty-six years ago, having nothing better to do at the time, I tried my hand at schoolteaching. The license I hold certifies that I am an instructor of English language and English literature, but that isn't what I do at all. -- and I win awards doing it.
Ron Mueck's sculptures faithfully reproduce the minute detail of the human body, but play with scale to produce disconcertingly jarring visual images.
~ From Ron Mueck Wikipedia entry
Ron Mueck is an Australian hyperrealist sculptor whose work with the human body and all its flaws is absolutely mesmerizing. If you've seen Mueck's work, experienced it, you'll never forget it. It's not that the sculptures are beautiful or of beautiful subjects; most of the subjects are fairly ordinary or even ugly. But it's the realism, the play with scale both large and small, and the nudity that demands your attention.
The Rolling StonesVan Morrison opened for The Rolling Stones at the Oakland Coliseum. A full moon complemented a gorgeous November night. Van's voice sounded as good (or bad) as it does in recordings he did 20-plus years ago. Wild Nights, Bright Side of the Road. Awesome set. However, Morrison was out of place performing in the Oakland coliseum....Seemed like he was just warming up at the end. Morrison's natural environment is after-hours in a smokey pub; I'd love to see him perform at 2 AM in a Dublin pub after proper intoxication. That's when we'd see some action, some soul. But still, it was great to see the 60-plus year-old legend. How many more performances are in that man?
And the Stones -- The Rolling Stones! Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, and Charlie Watts. Absolutely fantastic. Mick is amazing -- how can Mick be 63 and jumping around like a spastic schoolboy? His energy (and limberness) must baffle scientists. Compared to Morrison's aged and stiff body, Mick appears to have some fountain of youth elixir coursing through him.
"I'll have what he's having."
We got some satisfaction.
Benjamin Franklin's very funny...and sensible...advice to a young man seeking a mistress over marriage. Franklin's argument speaks to the value of experience over youth. Is the argument as compelling today as it might have been in 1745? And who was the young man Franklin addresses?
Olin Shivers wrote an acknowledgements section to his Scsh Reference Manual that worried his friends.
Acknowledgments should be filled with Thank you's and Couldn't have done it without you's. Olin Shivers acknowledgments section thanked no one. In fact, his acknowledgments section explains why people did NOT deserve his thanks, people like his parents, his graduate students, his colleagues. It's a rant only a mother could forgive...or maybe not.
Penn Jillette and God - If you are devoted to any religion, even in a small way, you will surely be provoked by Penn Jillette's (of Penn and Teller) essay for the NPR program, This I believe.
But even if you have agnostic or atheistic tendencies, you will probably still be provoked. Let's face it. Penn Jillette is a provoking guy with a lot to say. Here are some excerpts from his essay There Is No God...
Alicia Witt - I found this stunning portrait of Alicia Witt on flickr. This photo has qualities of a painting. And her look into the camera is so alluring....I absolutely love it.
Turns out Witt was in the 1984 movie Dune. Witt (as Alicia Roanne Witt) played Alia Atreides, Paul's younger sister. Alicia Witt was only nine years-old at the time.
Dick and Rick are Team Hoyt
Dick and Rick Hoyt - When Rick Hoyt was about to be born, the umbilical cord got wrapped around his neck, depriving his soon-to-be-born body of oxygen. Initially, doctors told the new parents their son was a vegetable, with no higher brain function. But the parents didn't believe it; they saw signs of life and intelligence in their son. Sure enough, the doctor's discovered they were wrong. Rick did have higher brain function. However, the lack of oxygen did deprive Rick of the ability to control his muscles, leaving him essentially a quadrapalegic.
The story of Team Hoyt began when Rick found out about a fundraiser for a friend. The fundraiser involved running, and wheelchair-bound Rick told his Dad he wanted to participate so he could help his friend. So father Dick Hoyt ran with his son, rolling him around the track, raising money for Rick's friend. After the run, Rick told his Dad that running made him feel free for the first time. Inspired by his son's statement, Dick took Rick running, swimming, bicycling, climbing--anything he wanted to do, Dick found a way to share it with his son and help him feel free. It's an amazing story of a father and son's courage, determination, and love.
In my best Dr. Cox voice: "I love, LOVE, L-O-V-E the NBC television series Scrubs." For network TV, it's brilliant. Not Arrested Development brilliant (or Scrubs would have been canceled by now), but still...
Scrubs is this odd blending of comedy and sentimentality. In my mind, medical shows like Scrubs, Grey's Anatomy, E.R., St. Elsewhere (1980s TV) and the like are all derived from the Samuel Shem book, The House of God. The House of God is a fast pace, cynical view of medical training that bombs all the Marcus Welby M.D. illusions our culture used to carry about the medical profession.
Between the Lines - Accidentally discovered this marvelous interview program when I stumble on Barry Kibrick's interview with photographer Robert Zuckerman. I wanted to hear more of Kibrick's interviews and found a Between the Lines archive list that includes links to interviews with Ridley Scott and Stephen Shapiro (Goal Free Living). I gotta check these out.
Photo by Robert Zuckerman
Start Before You Are Ready
~ Robert Zuckerman
Kindsight®: Images and Words From the Flow - Serendipity. I woke up early on a Saturday morning and flipped the TV on to a Barry Kibrick interview with photographer Robert Zuckerman. Zuckerman has compiled a collection of photographs and quotes for a book called Kindsight®: Images and Words From the Flow. In his day job, Zuckerman is a well respected still photographer for the movie industry. He does portraits, movie poster images, and set photographs. This book contained none of those images. Instead, Kindsight® showcases photos of everyday people Zuckerman discovered during his not-so-everyday life, informal portraits of real people during moment of kindness.
The funniest essay I've read, period. Always has me belly laughing, with tears running down my face.
Please do not remove the copyright from this essay
Recently I was honored to be selected
as an Outstanding Famous Celebrity in my Community to be
a judge at a chili cook-off because no one else wanted to
do it. Also the original person called in sick at the last
moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's
table asking directions to the beer wagon when the call
I was assured by the other two judges that the chili wouldn't
be all that spicy, and besides they told me I could have
free beer during the tasting, so I accepted this as being
one of those burdens you endure when you're an Internet
writer and therefore known and adored by all.
I found this eulogy for a dear family friend. Such a precious, generous woman. We miss her.
Aila McEwen, a key figure among the Bristol Finns, died on 22 March 2006 at the age of 66 after a short battle with ovarian cancer. The Funeral on 4 April, at Memorial Woodlands in Bristol, was lead by Pastori Kari Kanala from The Finnish Church in London. The beautiful service and reception were attended by many of Aila's friends and colleagues.
I didn't know Fred Clark, but after reading this obituary, I wish I had.
Frederic Arthur (Fred) Clark, who had tired of reading obituaries noting other's courageous battles with this or that disease, wanted it known that he lost his battle as a result of an automobile accident on June 18, 2006.
True to Fred's personal style, his final hours were spent joking with medical personnel while he whimpered, cussed, begged for narcotics and bargained with God to look over his wife and kids.
"The discomfort, the uncertainty, the physical and mental challenge that I get from this -- all the things that too many of us spend our time and energy trying to avoid -- they are precisely the things that keep me in the game." ~ Brian Grazer
I just listened to an essay Brian Grazer contributed to the NPR series, This I Believe (a revival of the Edward R. Murrow series of the same name). Brian Grazer produces feature films and television shows. Some years back, he and director , started Imagine Entertainment. His essay for NPR, titled Disrupting My Comfort Zone, speaks of how he is always striving to break out or disrupt his comfort zone. That's how or why he has grown and evolved.
That's his driving philosophy of life.
Michael Berg is the father of Nicholas (Nick) Berg, the young businessman who in May of 2004 was captured by terrorists in Iraq and beheaded. The terrorists videotaped the beheading and distributed the tape via their website. News services reported on the contents of the tape, showing the preamble of statements by Berg (and the terrorists?), but stopping short of broadcasting the actual beheading. However, besides the video, a still image of a terrorist holding up Bergs decapitated head has circulated widely on the Net.
Mark my words, Sasha Pieterse is gonna be a star.
Saw her in a second season episode of Fox's medical drama series House. In the episode, simply called Autopsy, the (then) nine year-old actress played a nine year-old terminal cancer patient, and gave a performance well beyond her years. Second time I've seen it, and again was choked up by her portrayal. Powerful stuff.
South African born Sasha Pieterse's talent totally reminds me of the Sixth Sense phenom, Haley Joel Osment. I wonder if she'll be picked up for any heavy roles as Osment was. Doubt there's much to pick from, but if I were a screenwriter, watching her performance would have inspired me to write something just for her. What a talent.
Sasha Pieterse will be a star.
In his critique of the Oscars, actor/economist Ben Stein points out...
Whoa. Got my attention.
I think he may be right, though I didn't see the whole awards show (Stein admits he didn't watch it all either). Even so, I had very mixed feelings about his comments. Yes, as he observes...
This entry contains a sister's memories of stories her brother told of his experiences during WWII. Someone in the family transcribed her account into an email, and I've posted it here. With the Iraq war, I expect our family will have more such stories. Very sad. The horrors of war. I think I would have made a miserable soldier.
MythBuster Kari Byron
Kari Byron - I was shocked at the traffic generated with my blog post MythBusters Lost Experiments. After a little investigation, I was able to determine most visitors arrived at the post via a Google search of "Kari Byron". Since then, I've learned there is a die-hard following of this perky and very smart red-head. So I assembled this list of links related to Kari Byron. Of course, I have no interest in this wonderful lass born in 1974. I do this as a service to my fellow MythBusters fans...
Norman O. BrownNorman O. Brown was considered by the NY Times as a "playful philosopher."
I found his name while reading The Judoka, by W.D. (William) Norwood. On page 85 he paraphrases a quote from Norman O. Brown:
- W.D. Norwood paraphrase of Norman O. Brown sentiment
From what I've learned, Norman O. Brown was a respected philosopher who lived a long life, though he did have Alzheimer's disease.
I wonder if W.D. Norwood is still alive. The literati / Judoka wrote a wonderful book and shared a bit of wisdom.
Life is accelerating by me. The NY Times quote:
How the hell do you do that?