Inhuman Swill : March 2008

Shiny happy people

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We're on our way to New York! Well, I'm waiting in line for a shoeshine at O'Hare, but excitedly. We bought lunch anonymously for three soldiers a little while ago in a concourse restaurant. Going home makes us feel happy.

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Who framed Laura and Bill?

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Laura and I are notorious—well, at least at our house, where everything we do is notorious—for procrastinating when there are things we need to have framed. That's why it's a miracle that, a mere month after their purchase, we've taken the prints of our photographs from Bill Wadman's 365 Portraits project [Laura] [Bill] to the framing shop. [Hi, Ken!] [Hi, Derryl!]

Wednesday evening I picked Laura up from work IN OUR NEW USED CAR and we headed north to visit the big famous framing guys. Turns out their master framer is such a master that he only works from about 10:00 to 4:30, which meant we were never going to get there when Laura could come along. So from the recesses of her brain, Laura dredged up a memory of a little art gallery/framing shop near the parking lot where we used to pick up our Zipcar. It was closing in on 8:00 pm by the time we pulled up, and though it was well past the posted hours the front door was open and the proprietor was inside painting. She welcomed us, presented us with some very interesting and attractive options for frames and mattes, and presented us with a total that was less than we'd expected. Altogether a delightful experience.

So then I whipped out the other item of mine that needed framing: a limited edition lithograph (number 1 of 50, in fact!) of a Kenn Brown work that was an incredibly generous gift from the artist himself. (The website for Mondolithic Studios, Kenn's venture with partner Chris Wren, is under construction just now, but you've definitely seen their work.) I'm embarrassed to say that it had taken me nearly four years to get the thing framed, but it's going to look unbelievably cool, and I couldn't be happier.

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March's CD mix of the month

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I keep forgetting to post that my virtual contribution to March's CD Mix of the Month club was Life Is Good, an affirmation tinged with darkness.

(The story so far.)

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I have quite a backlog of little items I've made notes about that I've meant to blog over the past couple of months, and maybe today or soon I'll start getting to most of them. Though before I get to the one immediately at hand, I just have to note that outside right now is raging the SECOND snowstorm of spring.

Now to the main monkey business. Laura and I are heading to New York tomorrow to spend a lazy weekend. The prime motivator of our trip is to see our friend Laura Peterson's new dance program Electrolux, at DNA (280 Broadway). You should come too. Seriously. Go buy tickets. The run starts tonight and ends Sunday.

Electrolux might look something like this rehearsal footage:

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Chicago doesn't fuck around with bike safety!
Spotted in Chicago, and photographed by Laura's iPhone, at the corner of Diversey Parkway, Racine Avenue, and Lincoln Avenue:

And then, for good measure, they break your kneecaps.

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ShunnCast #51

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Epidode #51 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Donald William Shunn II remembers the original model (1936-2008).

See also shunncast.

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Donald William Shunn
My deepest thanks to everyone who posted or called or sent cards on the occasion of my father's passing. (Well, to everyone but the ones who tried to use the opportunity to reassure me of the reality of the afterlife. Bad time to make your dubious point.) The sympathy and concern were very touching and very much appreciated.

Laura and I returned Saturday from the funeral, which was held in Kaysville, Utah, the town where my parents have lived for 28 years. The funeral was a curiously joyful affair for the family, though punctuated of course by bouts of deep grief. My mother seemed to be doing better than just about anyone else, as if the burden of my father's long illness had at last been lifted. Relatives—and I have a lot—and friends came from far and wide, and many, many folks from the ward where I grew up dropped in for the viewing and/or service as well.

It was hard to walk from one end of the church to the other without being delayed an hour by people wanting to talk. I enjoyed seeing everyone and catching up, but this was also unfortunate in that it prevented me from getting to the men's room before the funeral service began. As a pallbearer, I didn't have a chance to slip away at the end of the service, either. So it was off to the cemetery in a limo for the interment and then back to the church, before sweet relief could be obtained. A short four hours.

My two brothers, Tim and Lee, spoke at the funeral, as did a former bishop who is a close friend of the family. My brothers' remarks were excellent, though I frequently found myself wishing I'd known the person they were talking about better. My brothers are Siblings Five and Six, which means they grew up in a different Family Era from the four oldest, and very different from My Era, the Epoch of the Firstborn.

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"At a child's grave"

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Some words that are meaningful to me just now, from an address by "Great Agnostic" Robert J. Ingersoll at a child's grave in 1882:

Every cradle asks us "Whence?" and every coffin "Whither?" The poor barbarian, weeping above his dead, can answer these questions just as well as the robed priest of the most authentic creed. The tearful ignorance of the one, is as consoling as the learned and unmeaning words of the other. No man, standing where the horizon of a life has touched a grave, has any right to prophesy a future filled with pain and tears.

May be death gives all there is of worth to life. If those we press and strain within our arms could never die, perhaps that love would wither from the earth. May be this common fate treads out from the paths between our hearts the weeds of selfishness and hate. And I had rather live and love where death is king, than have eternal life where love is not. Another life is nought, unless we know and love again the ones who love us here.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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