28 February 2013

Mission To...



Iowa City is likely my favorite place in the world. I have such a good time when I'm there. It's balmier than Wisconsin. And I really set it off when I hit the secondhand stores there! (Yes, I'm looking at you, Mark.) I love the way smaller places like Iowa City (and Milwaukee) have this awesome let's-make-it-happen attitude. Iowa City is the little city that could--albeit one with with a top-shelf literary pedigree.

Mission Creek is in many ways the embodiment of the can-do spirit of Iowa City. Iowa City is the little city that could--albeit, one with a top-shelf literary pedigree. Someone, like Mission Creek co-founder Andre Perry, is always cooking up some way to make Iowa City a better, more vibrant community. Which is why I asked Andre how I could help out with Mission Creek this year. His answer was simply to tell people in my area about Mission Creek.

26 February 2013

Queer People of Faith. The Crossing. March 7 to 10, 2013.



They're here. They're queer. Their god is one of love, not fear. Get used to it!

Matthew Vines will be at The Crossing in Madison March 7 through 10 for a series of awesome events. It's coming up so soon! You know what Joe Biden would say about this, right?

Vines, a co-Kansan (yes, some of us are, in fact, dope) is helping to the lead the way in challenging the played out notion that being gay is a sin. In case you missed it, here's the New York Times piece about him from last semester.

I learned about the Queer People of Faith event through Evan Karg, a future divinity student who never fails to bring a smile to my face. Of course I wanted to become involved, so I wrote the press release.

Here are the deets:

MAIN EVENT:  Thursday, March 7, 7:00 to 8:30 PM

OTHER EVENTS:

Friday, March 8, 1 to 2 PM: Conversation and Lunch with Matthew Vines
Saturday, March 9, 2 to 3 PM: Tea Time Talk -- Coming Out as a Queer Person of Faith
Sunday, March 10, 5PM: Matthew Vines at Vespers (followed by dinner)


21 February 2013

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

Photo by Lindsey Byrnes
Photo by Lindsey Byrnes


Yes, I still listen to So Jealous on trips to Iowa. And sing along.  

Tegan and Sara are playing in Madison on Sunday. I have a non-fiction deadline the day after, but the  more I listen to tracks from Heartthrob, the less I feel inclined to stay my ass home. The twitchy excellence of "Closer" would definitely have a place on an excellent mixtape for the guy I'm crushing on. Also, my money is on this becoming everyone's summer jam. I also like "Shock To Your System." By "like," I mean "cried the first time I heard it."

The last time I saw Tegan and Sara was in 2004--right here in Madison, as it were. If I were sure their setlist included "We Didn't Do It," I'd be all in.


20 February 2013

"Genre" Be Damned!

Yes, I enjoy reading mystery novels.

And some of the ones I've enjoyed the most come from the Sister Frevisse series by Minnesota writer Margaret Frazer. It seemed unlikely at first that that series would be the one for me--taking place in the fifteenth century, which meant snoozefest to my way of thinking--but I became really attached to it. Thus, I had chafed whenever I checked the author's Wikipedia page and saw that 2008's The Apostate's Tale was, indeed, still the most recent book.

I have no doubt the Sister Frevisse series has enriched my life. It taught me a great deal about the historical context that until that point had, as I mentioned above, equaled snoozefest; in fact, the series brought it to life. Thus, I knew to root for York during American Players Theatre's production of Richard III last summer from the outset; and the recent discovery of that same monarch's remains near a carpark (!) did not send me scrambling to look up Plantagenet because the Frevisse series already had.

And Frazer's Frevisse series continues to expand my intellectual culture. In my Women in Art Education and Art class, I am much more attentive to the medieval and Renaissance material than I would have been pre-Sister Frevisse. And, also, because of Frazer's excellent research, I am familiar with the conventions quite literally surrounding women during the medieval and Renaissance eras. Also, in some way the Frevisse books illuminated a way in which women during that time period could eke out some degree of control and vocation in their lives.

Thus, I am saddened to know that Margaret Frazer died earlier this month. Here is a link to her obituary.

03 February 2013

I Have Loved Nick Rhodes for Almost 30 Years


OMG, I'm now old enough to be the second/third wife of any Duran Duran member. Time flies, doesn't it?

As a child in the 1980s, Duran Duran was unavoidable. And Nick Rhodes's girly hotness seared itself into my eight-year-old brain. I guess going for the arty girlyboy is the typical immature female's response. For Simon Le Bon, the luscious-lipped lead singer, was considered the hottie. Well, actually, he probably tied with the scorching babe bassist (!) John Taylor.

But Nick Rhodes was so cool, looking moody and unattainable over the keys. His hair was always awesome. He had better pouts and cheekbones than I would have as a grown woman. I wanted to be like him. I wanted to dress like him. I wanted to hang out with him.

I do have to give props to my older sister for being the non-conformist; she thought Roger Taylor (the drummer!) was hot. The video above is probably the best showcase for him I've ever seen. This is a great moment for both Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor, actually, in that the backbone of this performance is that unending bass drum and the interpolation of that iconic, monster synth from "Relax." Meowr and thank you, sirs.

"Come Undone" is probably my favorite Duran Duran song. My connection with all Duran Duran songs are emotional, I guess. Firstly, it was a revival or resurgence for this band that had been godlike when I had been a kid some ten years after their biggest moment. It hit at a crucial time in my development--the year I went to college; I can't hear this song without getting a visual image of the campus I spent my first year of college at.

Musically, it uses the archetypal early 1990s beats in a way that doesn't sound played out 20 years on. The synths are Rhodesian iciness at its best. Something I didn't realize until listening to this with headphones (and not watching the video for glimpses of Nick Rhodes) was the understated, dangerously sexy bassline. Well played, Mr. Taylor, well played!

If "Come Undone" is the ur-Nick Rhodes, um, audio text, what I consider the ur-Nick Rhodes visual text was the bit in the "Ordinary World" video in which he zhushes the bride. (Also, in the "View to a Kill" video he appears as Mr. Arty Pants Photographer.)

I guess this is also expressive of my feeling toward Mr. Rhodes now. I necessarily don't want him, baby; though, obviously, if I had the opportunity to make out with him, I'd take advantage of it rather enthusiastically. I'd like Nick Rhodes to explain his tech set-up to me; to send me emails about art, designers, and music he finds interesting; go shopping with me and offer makeover advice. Does that sound like I want Nick Rhodes to be my mentor?