Monthly Archives: January 2011

Dells Children’s Hospital Gala

(Community Matters) Guests of the hospital’s CEO, Bob Bonar, Michael Barnes and I joined his table along with Development Director Missy Wood, Judy Waxler, Brett & Debra Hurt and Paul & Lawana Rothamel.

Heaps of friends, acquaintances & notables all around us – Michael & Susan Dell at the next table, Adam Dell hosting on the other side, Jan & Britt Lindelow and Ken & Kendra Gladish hosting tables to our left. The team Bob and the Seton Healthcare Network have built in Central Texas includes some of best pediatricians and specialty centers in the country.   A great cause brought to heart by the stories and videos that evening and serious fun mingling with friends and at the casino tables after. Armando Zambrano and his team created a super event, assisted by David Kurio & Victoria HentrichVictoria Guiterrez presiding over a fun, succinct and successful live auction. Michael Barnes’ blog here

Michael Barnes, Eugene, Debra & Brett Hurt (photo subsequently from Dell Children’s)

Michael & I walked to Graham’s Duke Ellington show at the Continental Club – added & unexpected bonus, Ruby Jane accompanied him for a set.

Graham Reynolds & Mother Falcon

(Community Matters) I’d forgotten about his genius composing classical and indie-classical music – yeah, I know, how can one forget. I’ve become so enamored of his Duke Ellington and maybe come to think of him as just my friend . . .

Saturday night at the US Art Authority, Mother Falcon opened the evening’s show. Ok, double wow. “Mother Falcon is led by Nick Gregg, who directs an ever-shifting flock of classical musicians in a soundscape of strings, brass, and drums with a modern sensibility.” The Austin Chronicle describes them here

I asked Graham to describe them: “I consider them part of this broad “movement” or scene called either alt-classical or indie-classical.  Of course there were alternative composers to the mainstream before this movement, but there was also new music before “new wave”, etc.  It’s a reference to alt-rock and suggests not only a style of music but also a business style, types of gigs/venues, etc.  It’s something that’s been happening internationally.  I would put Peter, myself and Golden Hornet Project in this rough category as well.  Outside of Austin it includes groups/composers from Rachels from Louisville, Gabriel Prokofiev/Nonclassical Records in London, Wordless Music/Poisson Rouge in NYC, Tin Hat in San Fran/Portland, etc.  The list is long and the music ranges widely.”

Back to Graham’s set – he played his new work, The Difference Engine. Accompanied by 4 violins, a drum, a bass and a cello the composition of 5 movements includes a triple concerto of the piano, violin and cello. Also includes some familiar threads. Can’t recommend it enough – purchase here

After the show a few friends including Graham, John Riede, choreographer Andrea Ariel and a few members  (new friends) of Mother Falcon returned to my house huddled around an outside fire until an hour I’m usually waking up.

Kennedy Obilum

(Community Matters) Extreme tragedy – one of the most beloved youth in our parish, Kennedy Obilum was laid to rest yesterday after suffering a horrible accident. He & friends while trying to help two young women who’d run out of gasoline were in an explosion. Kennedy died from burns suffered in this explosion. Reading the inscriptions from his friends and fellow students at Round Rock High School, it was obvious he was as popular at RRHS as at St. James Episcopal Church.


Alex Pettyfer Strips for Ellen

(Community Matters)

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Uganda Gay Rights Activist Killed

(Community Matters) a FB friend asked why I hadn’t posted about the murder of the David Kato, a Ugandan gay rights activist. It’s simply so horrific I’ve wanted to not think about it, nor about how mad I am at the US missionaries who went to Uganda and stoked these fires of homophobia. If you don’t know, three American evangelical “Christians” represented themselves as experts on homosexuality and “the gay agenda – the whole hidden and dark agenda.” It resulted in a bill being promoted which would result in the execution of homosexuals – more in this NY Times article

Atticus Circle Luncheon

(Community Matters) today’s Atticus Circle luncheon was the first – and a smashing success. Hard to believe this organization which Anne Wynne launched and Chula Reynolds seeded now has 6,000 supporters.

Chely Wright

Country Western star Chely Wright, Dell Inc and the Texas A&M GLBT Aggies were honored at today’s luncheon. Anne interview Chely and her story about coming out, being a closeted, now an out country western star. It was fantastically well done

Tons and tons of friends at the event. Joining us at our table: Kip Keller, Tana & Joe Christie, Andy Miller & Brian Stephens, Joyce Christian, Graham Reynolds, Diane Land & Steve Adler, Cookie Ruiz. And also at the event – good gosh tons including board members Anne, Brooke Hardie, Mary Herman, John Hildreth, Bill Ikard, Susan Longley, Joann McKenzie,Lucas Schaefer, Courtney Spence – and of course their gracious exec dir. Ruth Gardner-Loew

John Cohen

(Community Matters) great interview of Sonya Cohen Cramer’s daddy, John Cohen on NPR here

two of his pics featured on the website:

Jack Kerouac, Lucien Carr & Allen Ginsberg, 1959
David Elliot & Woody Guthrie, 1961


I just remembered to order his newly published collection Past Present Peru: Photos, Music & Film


(Community Matters)

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Austin City Council: Open Meetings

(Community Matters) I’m floored that the opening meetings act would be interpreted to dissuade council members from discussing and finding compromises & solutions prior to the public meetings where they take additional citizen input and arrive at final decisions.  AAS story.

Is it realistic to think this business can all take place during the limited hours of public meetings? Of course, votes and final discussion (after final citizen & staff input) are appropriately part of the requirement.

Certainly don’t begrudge our County Attorney for pursuing clarifying the law. If there’s room for interpretation, I’d know he’ll do so realistically. As we’re identifying emergency legislative issues perhaps the Governor could be persuaded to add this and civil service reform to the agenda.

the latter referring to silly arbitrator decisions requiring promotion of employees convicted of shoplifting & lying to investigators

Reactions to SOTU

(Community Matters) The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows enthusiastic and overwhelmingly positive response by most Americans.

The litany approach versus thematic or ideological resulted in something for everyone, touching & inspiring most. Though, likely not for trial lawyers; I didn’t realize the evidence supported medical malpractice reform. I loved and appreciate the shout out to LGBT equality and DA/DT repeal.

Ryan and Bachmann of course had a much easier job, and their pieces were clearly thematic, probably rewarding to their bases. I, personally, didn’t like either of these, but they might have worked for their audiences. Wondering how Ryan’s polled with independents.

Wasn’t my very favorite SOTU, but while we were watching, Graham Reynolds reminded us that polls in the last few decades have shown the most effective SOTU speeches took a litany approach rather than going for poetic or inspiring. It was great watching with Diane Land, Steve Adler, James Aldrete & Graham. Unfortunately, ST was at a Wheatsvile Coop board meeting.

pinched from The Daily Dish:


25 Jan 2011 10:34 pm


by Patrick Appel

Full text of the speech here. The NYT compares the words used in SOTU speeches since Roosevelt. Nyhan calls the SOTU the “most overcovered event in politics relative to the amount of the news that’s made.” His take on the spin:

Instant polls of people who watch the speech are meaningless (it’s a non-random sample skewed toward the president’s supporters, among other problems).

The claim that presidents get a bounce from the speech is a widely debunked myth (most don’t).

Legislative seating may matter over the long term, but not for one night.


[T]he percentage of the speech devoted to microeconomic “competitiveness” issues vastly exceeds the amount devoted to long-term macroeconomic policy.  If the federal government really wants to create a better climate for innovation, it needs to send a credible signal that steps are being taken to deal with long-term budgetary problems.  That section of the speech was, er, less solid.

Alana Goodman:

Obama reaffirms the importance of supporting democracy movements around the world. This type of rhetoric had been toned down during his administration, and so it’s nice to hear him say it so firmly tonight: “And tonight, let us be clear: the United States of America stands with the people of Tunisia, and supports the democratic aspirations of all people.”

Continue reading

Shame Map

(Community Matters) The Economist Jan 25

Some strange choices to illuminate, are these even accurate? And, as The Economist points out, perhaps even more interesting a map of what each state is best at. If someone knows of one out there, I’d like to hear.

Hat Tip: Andrew Sullivan

Perfect Strangers: State of the Union

(Community Matters) from Roll Call

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