Friday, August 04, 2006

Happy Jubilation of the Heart of Re!

I'm 36 frickin' years old today. What does that mean? Because it's not a milestone, I can be happy without reservations.

So who do I share my birthday with?

1.My niece Chloe and my friend Olivia
2. Percy Bysshe Shelly - the Engish romantic poet, of whom I know virtually nothing besides what I learned from watching Ken Russel's Gothic
3. Louis Armstrong - Jazz trumpeter
4. Knut Hamsun - Norwegian novelist- Bukowski was a big fan5. Billy Bob Thornton - "I love 'em them french fried per-taters.... mmmhmmm."
6. Roger Clemens- winner of 7 Cy Young awards- ML baseball's prize for the best annual pitcher.
7. Alberto Gonzales - US attorney general and torture advocate
8. Ayatollah al-Sistani - Iraqi shiite leader
9. Jeff Gordon - auto racer and hero of the heartland
10. Iceberg Slim - Pimp-turned-author-turned-counterculture-hero
11. Helen Thomas - White House correspondant and nemesis of administrative spin-meisters and dissemblers
12. Urban VII - medieval pope
13. Barack Obama - US Senator from Illinois, and the (future) 1st black president of the US

What famous events occurred on August 4?

70 AD - The destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans
1693 - The date credited with the invention of champagne by Dom Perignon
1753 - George Washington becomes a master mason
1892 - The family of Lizzie Borden is found murdered in their home
1914 - Germany invades Belgium and the United Kingdom declares war (the US declares neutrality)
1964 - The alleged Gulf of Tonkin incident is said to have occured. This is used as justification for the United States to bomb North Vietnam
1964 - The bodies of three missing civil rights workers are found in Mississippi
1977 - Jimmy Carter signs legislation that creates the US Department of Energy
1983 - New York Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield "accidentally" kills a seagull during warmups
1987 - The FCC rescinds the Fairness Doctrine, eliminating the requirement of radio and television stations to "fairly present controversial issues"

This august 4th happens to fall on first Friday... so if you are out-and-about in Pittsburgh , look for me. Besides the fashion show at 7PM at the Clay Penn (I wrote about that in an earlier post), I will try to attend the Grand Opening of Laurie Mancuso's new gallery, "ON" (5005 Penn Avenue). Laurie has curated a series of great exhibition spaces (including the "formerly great" Garfield Artworks), and has an incredible appreciation and commitment to local arts and artists. This time she has actually brought in some artists from North Carolina for a group show. Come check it out from 7PM-11PM.


Anonymous jefg99 said...

First, Happy Birthday once again. Sounds like you had a busy and enjoyable day. I hope you let us know how the fashion show turned out, given your conundrum re appropriate comments.

Did I ever tell you that I once spent a small slice of time next to one of the people with whom you share your birthday, over coffee and a light breakfast? In fact, we held a brief discussion in Washingtom while I was there on official business. Sounds fairly interesting, no? Well, I was in Washington at a non-political education-related conference, and thought the prices for breakfast at the hotel were exhorbitant. Opting for a nearby deli, I (we) sat down at the counter. Sitting next to me were two ladies, holding a nice quiet conversation. Two things struck me...first, one of the voices sounded very familiar, and two, she was talking about her recent meeting with the Pope after he got off the plane at JFK. Glancing over at inconspicuously as I could, I verified my thought, and waiting for her to take an exgended pause, couldn't help saying a cordial "Hello Ms. Thomas, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your (not sure what adjective I used here, something like "evocative") questions at the press conferences. Thinking "Say Hi to the Pope for me, will ya?' might have been a bit informal, it's the best I could come up with on the spur of the moment. She was extremely cordial, asking me were I was from and what brought me to DC. Whether just being polite or not, I thought it was a very nice thing for her to do. I watched the next presidential news conference,but alas, no mention was made by her of our encounter.
I'm not sure if her questions weren't more enlightening than the answers...she enjoyed putting presidents on the spot...but it certainly made for good TV. For what it's worth, it was during the Carter administration, 1979 to be exact.

The other thing I remember about that particular DC visit, was being invited into the office of one of our congressman (Fred Rooney was his name). I had used the perk they offer of getting White House passes for constituents, and planned simply to pick them up at his office in the House of Representatives wing of the Capitol. His secretary (they still called admin. assistants secretaries in those days) said Rep. Rooney would like to talk with you. He spent about fifteen minutes at his desk talking about national education policies, and the impact on local educational systems. being a money-person, we mostly talked about the level of federal funding, and certain programs being proposed. Whether he listened to or considered my thoughts, I really don't know, but I was extremely impressed that he wanted to hear them in the first place. We finished with the requisite photo of me sitting at his desk.

Unfortunately, I have no similar stories about Roger Clemens or Louis Armstrong, but I did know a girl named Shelly years back. As it was her first name, doubt I could make any connnection with less than a dozen degrees of separation.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Dagrims said...

Did I ever tell you that I never spent any time next to one of the people with whom you share your birthday? Well, it's true.

Hope you had a great day, and enjoy your beach trips.

4:30 PM  

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