I Am Big. It's the Pictures That Got Small

for those wonderful people out there in the dark

20 March 2008

Five Years and One Day and Counting

About George W. Bush's speech yesterday, which proclaimed victory in Iraq, I was most taken by this statement:
"In Iraq, we are witnessing the first large-scale Arab uprising against Osama Bin Laden. And the significance of this development cannot be overstated."
Evidently, when those same Iraqi militias were working with the Syrian or Iranian or Saudi elements, they were not a part of an uprising against the United States. Only after we have successfully bribed or coerced them, after they have gotten tired of their own in-fighting, and after they see an opportunity for political power and influence, these Iraqi militias are now doing our bidding and taking it to Bin Laden.

Evidently, someone's anti-Islamofascist-freedom-fighter is someone else's bitch.

Of course, I was under the impression that in fact there had been an earlier and genuine and rather large-scale uprising specifically against Bin Laden and his associates: remember Afghanistan?

14 March 2008

The Greatest College Football Game

For those of you who've truly followed this blog, which I began posting almost three years ago, my original intent was to discuss contemporary American poetry and Boise State football, my feeble attempt at making this the least read blog on the internet. So today, I'll offer a little taste of Bronco football.

Carson and I were lucky enough to make it to the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Here, for your viewing pleasure, assuming you have three hours, is that game:

If it's not for you, I can live with that. I am large. I contain multitudes. Walt Whitman, I am sure, would love to lie with Chris Petersen, Jared Zabranski, Ryan Clady, Korey Hall, Jerard Rabb, and Ian Johnson.

12 March 2008

Ingrid Update

I wanted to give an update on my friend, Ingrid Martinez-Rico, as she is recovering from a devastating traffic accident. Some of my readers are able to keep track of Ingrid's recovery through CaringBridge.com, and so I'm not sharing any information that her family hasn't made public.

Yesterday, Gerri and I visited Ingrid at her new home; her husband Craig is renting a house next door to their home (one good thing about the lousy housing market here), so that Ingrid's set-up can be roomy. Aside from suffering from an untreated hematoma in her upper left arm, Ingrid has pretty well recovered from all the other injuries besides the head trauma. Her cracked vertabrae is healing, and she'll be out of her neck brace in just over two weeks.

Her state is one of semi-consciousness. She constantly moves, partly involuntary reactions, but more and more of her movement is in response to external stimulation. While we were there, we were with the amazing Candi Love, Ger's and Ingrid's yoga teacher, and Ingrid responded to some of our questions and instructions, and she clearly indicated what she wanted us to touch, to rub. With the children, she has turned to kiss them, whispering their names, and even more. Of course, she tires quickly with these exertions, but it's all looking most hopeful, and Ingrid is incredibly strong. It'll be a long recovery, but every time we have visited her, she has made real strides.

This home care that Craig decided on, and which took a good deal of managing on his part, is simply wonderful. There's a RN to lead the nursing care, a full rotation of attendants, while Ingrid can also receive the care of an acupuncturist and other healers. So she's getting the best of both conventional and alternative health care. She also is in a wonderful house, a 1920's Spanish (of course) modified bungalow, with plenty of windows, a garden view, and with her family right next door. Her room has been decorated by the children, and so it's a quiet, healthy place--so much better than the hospital, and certainly better than the other options that Craig was considering for her rehabilitation. The children spend almost all their free time with her, and I know that all of that is helping her with her recovery.

I also must say that Craig has been a gem. He's been so strong, resourceful, respectful, and loving--he's a wonderful father, to boot. He's had a rough couple of years before this terrible accident, but he's found such grace, resilience in the face of all this chaos. I know he gains strength from all the well wishing he and Ingrid have received, and they are both becoming stronger every day.

06 March 2008

A Little of Living Blog

The above video is one of five "preludes" to each of the parts of The Living Blog: Apocalypse, the theatrical piece written, designed, and directed by the very capable Barry Cavin, the Chair of the Division of Visual and Performing Arts at my home institution. Barry recorded all the film, edited it, as well as having written and performed the music. He is sickly talented. The one thing I can hold against him is that he is a graduate of Belmont University, a place I had to leave under a shroud of scandal and rumor, but we won't go there, as that's about me and not Barry.

Yes, the imagery here is fetishized, but it's also a sincere retrieval of beauty, which is a trick to pull off in a work of political theater. Of course, I could never enjoy this particular piece because I was backstage, about ready to heave or blank out, as I had a gazillion lines in the first act. Let's just say the stage manager had set up a betting pool before each show on exactly how many lines I would drop in the first act.

The actress in the piece is the tremendously gifted Katelyn Gravel--we do hate her for how talented and lovely and positive and happy and intelligent she is. As I said earlier, her character shoves my character's sorry carcass off stage at the end, kind of like toe-ing away some scum from the floor. Below is that moment for your viewing pleasure:

This image was taken by Taylor Broderick, who played "John" in the production. Taylor's full of talent as well, but we won't talk about him today. While it's been over a week since we closed the show, it still stays with me. We may have an opportunity to perform it in Fort Myers and Naples, assuming that Barry can work his magic. As ever, I'm hugely indebted to him for this amazing experience.

Okay, the thing that gets me about the image of me is that I can't get over how vein-y my dome is. It's a little bit like those scary guys in the original Star Trek pilot. You know, the brainiac race--the Talosians--that evolved so incredibly that they no longer took delights in their bodily functions, so naturally they had to capture and imprison humanoids so that they could watch them mate. One might draw a parallel to what happens to English professors, but we won't go there either.