Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Myfanwe, Norbert and I went last evening to Millennium Park for an ambitious and enjoyable concert, "Steppin' Out: When The World Listens". The concert -- the "Official Band Concert of Gay Games VII" featured over 250 symphonic band musicians from over 35 affiliated LGBT band organizations from around the world.

(L to R) Gale, A Boy Whose Name I Forget, and Lil' Myfanwe

An attorney (and DEAR friend) who works with Myfanwe, also named Myfanwe -- what are the chances of that -- and her partner, Gale, are both accomplished trombonists and members of Lakeside Pride, Chicago's LGTB band. Through "Lil' Myfanwe" and Gale we have come to know and love several band members. (Norbert's trombone teacher and her partner are also in the band, though playing percussion, not trombone.)

The concert was most enjoyable -- I particularly enjoyed Charles Ives' Variations on America. I appreciate how the piece encourages the listener to view things -- music, tradition, history...maybe even war -- from a different perspective. I think, in this day and age, people need to be encouraged to look at things from every angle. Intolerance is, after all, the inability to find worth in alternate beliefs.

Speaking of intolerance, we can talk about mine. There were three -- count 'em -- THREE protesters at the concert last night. (I'm sure more wanted to attend, but they were busy blowing up abortion clinics or subjugating women.) I almost didn't post this picture -- anyone who knows me knows I wouldn't agree with this schmuck on anything, and I hate to publicize his message of hate. So if anyone can photoshop something clever like "I have a very small penis so I have to take it out on the world" into the sign, I would be happy to post it and be forever grateful! [Editor's Note: Rachel, bless her heart, provided me with a censored photo so as to prevent helping this guy spew his hate. Thanks, Rach!)

This guy kept shouting about how G-d is killing off queers. "The average lifespan for a homosexual male is 40.4 years. The average lifespan for a homosexual woman is 42.4 years." Where does he get this shit? If this is true, two-thirds of the audience was living on borrowed time! And 'homosexual woman" -- has anyone used that phrase in the last 50 years?

I would have pictured the other two hate hatemongers, but they desperately needed baths and I simply can't abide dirty people. Didn't they know they were going out in public? Weren't they hoping to get their picture taken? Didn't their mothers ever teach them the importance of good grooming?

Concert pianist Tatsuya Nagashima (who also was competing in the Games in tennis) performed a 15 minute set which included a lovely Chopin piece -- I couldn't hear which one -- and closed off his set with a classy response to the protesters. He played a beautiful (60 second) arrangement of "Yes, Jesus Loves Me". The crowd was on their feet!


(L to R) Bossie, and Flossie, and Clara Cow

As always, the audience was positively teaming with people who had no idea a) that there were other people in attendance who came to hear the concert, b) that their never-ending, high-decibel chatter might possibly prevent others from hearing the concert, and c) in polite society, it is important to think about how one's actions affect other people.

Chicago, the city that gave the world Cow Art, also produced these three Bovine Bores -- who, while 20 feet away from me, all managed to talk loudly enough that I could hear everything they said quite clearly. (This is a rather remarkable achievement, since I am deaf in one ear and usually have to concentrate to hear one person in a quiet room.) To add insult to injury, every ugly and bitter moo and low was delivered in nasal Southwest-side, white trash, Jerry-Springer-Audience twangs that can only be compared to taking a rake across a blackboard.

I came very close to moving my chair really, really close behind them so that, when they asked what I was doing, I could tell them I moved closer so they wouldn't have to shout for me to hear. I wish I hadn't chickened out. Maybe next time.

And, if history is any indicator, the next time I go to a concert, there will be more cows.


Yesterday I completed the Candle Flame Shawl! Hooray! It only took me about 7 weeks, but it seems like longer somehow.

It is going to be beautiful, I can tell, but no pictures until I have it blocked. In its current state it still looks like a pile of canned ass!

I'm anxious about blocking. It is 80" long, and I'm worried about having dimples on the sides from the pins.

I've read several different ways to block lace, and can't figure out which is the best. In the past, I've blocked things by soaking them in room-temperature water with a drop of detergent (to ease the surface tension and allow the water to soak the fiber, I think), then rolled the piece in towels to soak up excess moisture, then pinned the piece out. I'm thinking about pinning the piece dry and wetting the fiber with a spray bottle of water. Any opinions? Don't be shy -- I wouldn't ask if I didn't want to know!


Thank you, CarryFairie!
(See, it pays to believe in Fairies!)


Rachel H said...

Oh, the brilliance of that pianist for playing 'Yes, Jesus loves me'. That's something I would have love to have been there to witness.

I'm looking forward to seeing your finished shawl, as I've had that pattern in mind for a while now. Franklin would be much more useful with blocking advice, or Rams when she swings by (she knows Everything) but my first thought was that blocking wires would be a good investment for you. It would take away the worry of pin pucker points, and I think would make the job easier with such a long piece. Stick with wet blocking though so the fibres have a chance to stretch out fully.

CarryFairie said...

Try one of these :)

Diane said...

Just chuckling over the websites listed to get information on the thousands of people who have experiences the life changing love of Jesus Christ. Must have stayed up nights thinking that one up.

I double dog dare you to sit behind the cows the next concert. Can you back out on a double dog dare?

Congrats on finishing you Shawl. Can't wait to see the finish pictures.

Ted said...

Unless something strange was going on with your gauge, you'll have no dimpling. As I recall from my working of Candleflame pattern, that might be hard to believe when it's just off the needles.

My usual process for dressing a shawl is to pin it out, dry, and then spray if down, thoroughly. Then walk away for about 24 hours, or until absolutely dead bone-dry. If the thing needs a wash, I'll use a dab of hair shampoo, give it 2 rinses, squeeze (no wringing)to get the water out, maybe roll in a towel and squeeze some more, and then pin out. But for me, it's easier to handle a dry shawl than a wet one.

And, I gave up on pins some time ago. Now I use blocking/dressing wires.

DianeS said...

I've never understood the big deal about being gay and anti-gay. To me gay is part of that person, like brown hair or blue eyes.

Rachel said...

Lovely photoshop work, but why did you leave the original? I thought the whole point was not to advertise his insults and stupidities on your blog?

If you need a version saying just censored see below or something like that, just let me know and I will be glad to send it to you.

These people make me really mad, who gave them the right to tell other people what they can or can't do with their lives and bodies (re: abortion issue).

Waiting patiently to see your shawl.

Aidan said...

Rachel: I would love, love love a version saying censored. thank you!

They piss me off too.

Now don't get me wrong -- I would describe myself as a deeply spiritual person. But the problem with zealots who claim to hang on every word of the Bible is that they really only hang on the ones they like -- usually those that make them feel powerful or superior -- and forget completely about those that command them to do things that aren't easy or which don't add to their sence of self importance.

Plus, people who say they take every word of the Bible literally and still tuck into a porkchop are nothing but hypocrites.

Rachel said...

Hi Aidan,

I have the censored version ready for you but don't have your email to send it over and I don't think I can add it in here, so please e-mail me to: and I will email you the photo.

Please do not publish my email address if you publish this comment.

Thank you,

p.s. I am in Phoenix, AZ so a few hours behind you.

somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

Amen to you Aidan! And if those cows were near me during the concert, well... I can't publicly say what I would do because it would probably be what Franklin's bovine friend Dolores would do!

Liz from 111th & Western said...

While I do not condone the conduct of said cows, I take offense to the description of the accent - I'm from the SW side! :( I know you were trying to make a point, but let me say that the cows wouldn't sound any more pleasant if they happened to speak with an accent more becoming someone from Wilmette or Park Ridge, either. :)

Love your blog anyway!!

Aidan said...

Dear Liz, my words were chosen to be accurate descriptions -- not to hurt your feelings, and I hope you fill for give any offense.

Had the cud-chewers spoken with a Nashville-electric-guitar-ain't-n-cain't accent, or even one of those fakey of-course-my-underwear-is-ironed-and-starched-the servants-do-it-it-is-so-hard-to-find-good-these-days British accents like Madonna's, you can rest assured I would have said so.

Southside Liz said...

Aidan... I completely understand now. Thanks for taking the time to comment on my comment. And like I said, love your blog - even more now. :)

pacalaga said...

Loved that sign (the moderated one - I'm happy to say I didn't see the original). I can gather from the expression on that man's face that he either has extremely high blood pressure or a blocked colon. Something is bound to blow sooner or later.

Moorecat said...

I think Dolores might be upset with being called bovine (cowlike), and I for one would not want to get on her wrong side :)

Is the word you're after ovine (sheeplike)?

Great blog, btw

Aidan said...

Yes, MCat, if I were referring to Dolores, the proper descriptive would be ovine.

But bovine is, indeed, used properly. I wasn't referring to Dolores -- unlike some people, I RESPECT restraining orders) -- but rather to the three cows in the picture who, oblivious to all others, talked loudly throughout the concert.

If you want Dolores, you'll have to go to The Panopticon -- there's a link on the right of my main blog page. Once I got the check from the insurance company, Dolores became Franklin's problem. G-d help him. shudder.