Monday, July 02, 2007

first monday in july

"state of maine"
paper collage on cardboard panel
gregory a. milinovich
"ocean blue"
found objects and paper assemblage on cardboard panel
gregory a. milinovich

okay. so this is probably the last post that will deal with my vacation to maine. sorry if i've been boring you. i just had some stuff i wanted to share, that's all. today i share with you the two collages i made in maine. actually one is a collage and another is an assemblage. the difference is that a collage uses paper and an assemblage uses any items. the bottom one (which you can't see very well because it is 3-d and therefore doesn't scan well - i should have taken a picture instead) is made of items i found at the rachel carson salt pond while in maine - items that the tide washed ashore. there is a net from a lobster trap, a peice of rope, part of a rubber glove, a milk lid, a peice of driftwood, some wire and a rubber band (a gum band it is called in pittsburgh). i am just so intrigued with all the garbage in our world, and how it interacts with the natural world.
other items of interest on the first monday in july:
-jack refers to corn as "porn" which is kinda cute but strange when he says things like, "yum, i love porn!"
-we are going on a family picnic at the park today.
-we got jack a mcdonald's toy at a yard sale on saturday. he loves it.
-jack is going away tomorrow for several days with his grandparents. i am a little worried about him missing us. i am alot more worried about us missing him!
-the yankees suck.
-i can't believe it is july already.
-i like the movie national treasure.
-shannon made peach/blueberry pie yesterday. yum.
happy july!
greg.

17 comments:

Crafty P said...

'i' before 'e' accept after 'c'.

sorry. i believe I beat your mom to it or mary or julie. Someone was bound to tell you. so lucky me!

Laughed a lot about the "porn" problem in your house. that's too funny.

hoping shannon sends out some fun Maine vacation pictures to our inboxes!

Curious why jack is so blessed to go away and spend time with his grandparents? that's cool.

I, for one, have enjoyed living vicariously through your lovely trip to Maine!

ps. do you have any/ have your heard any of this reggae guy that was featured in a latest issue of relevant? his name escapes me, but he's a Hassidic Jew. I'm intrigued. I'm all for fun, thoughtful and different music, you know!

greg. said...

i percieve that you are bieng quite feisty.

greg.

Peter said...

We have a similar problem--whenever Eliot goes outside to play in the backyard he reaches down and picks a green blade of grass and says something that sounds like "Nice ass!" It's funny and really, really embarrassing--perhaps the best kind of humor around.

And the Yankees suck? After the shellacking they've given the Twins over the last three days, I'm not sure I can take that kind of a statement seriously...

Peter said...

Oh, and crafty p is referring to Matisyahu, whose album Live at Stubb's is particularly great. His band is 3 really talented jazz musicians who just tear it up. I'd listen to that over his studio album, for sure. The one thing about it that is a little weird is that when he introduces some of his songs he gets into material that is just a little weird and "out there"--stuff one might only be aware of vaguely if one were also a Hasidim.

greg. said...

pete -

don't let the recent series confuse you. i will be really surprised if these yankees make the playoffs. they pitching is too old or too shaky, and the hitting is too inconsistent and streaky.

i've heard a little matisyahu, but not enough to really have an opinion. i love good rhyming over top of good beats and music. i'm not a huge raggae fan, though.

we had porn-on-the-cob the other night. now that is weird! ('i' before 'e,' except after 'c?' what about 'w?' just wondering, christina. yeah, go ahead, get out your dictionary. and look up exception.)

Peter said...

And then of course there was this afternoon's Twins/White Sox game, in which the Twins took the game with a 20-14 score. Holy smokes...is this baseball?

Speaking of baseball, I'm stoked--We're taking Eliot and Taylor to see the St. Paul Saints on Sunday afternoon. We took them about a week ago but had horrible seats on a 100 degree day (no joke), so left after only 1 inning. Hopefully this will be better--we sprang for the slightly better than General Admission tix. Eliot loves falling asleep listening to baseball lately--I actually thought of your nostalgic story about listening to baseball under your covers as a child. Ah, what a beautiful summer.

greg. said...

pete:

how was the game? enjoyable i hope.

greg.

Peter said...

So, so fun. My boys love yelling "Go GO GO!" Well, at least Eliot does. Taylor just yelled. I'm not sure, but he might be a Lincoln Salt Dogs fan, rather than a St Paul Saints fan. (It's forgiveable.) We ended up leaving early as we saw enormous stormclouds gathering, but had a great time up until that point. We all had a lot of fun, but games like that, outside on a 100 degree afternoon (so totally not exaggerating) with no shelter over us at all and no breeze are enough to make me wonder whether the new Twins outdoor ballpark really is such a good move. Don't get me wrong--I think baseball should be played on grass that has to be MOWED, not COMBED, but I have misgivings about no covering at all. I mean, come on--our summer is only like 6 weeks here. Even the Brewers have a better stadium than that, and it's not nearly as cold there as it is here. But I digress...

greg. said...

pete:

glad you had a good time at the game. i must say, as someone who has never even been to minnesota and who therefore has no right to have any opinion whatsoever, i wondered about the new stadium thing when i heard about it. couldn't they do some kind of retractable roof thingy, so the twins aren't playing in two feet of snow in april? just a thought.

as much as it is so screwed up (steroids, hgh, $$$$$$$$$$$, bad attitudes, etc.) i still love baseball. i will enjoy tonight's allstar game, even if only as a myth of a sport that doesn't really exist the way it does in my head. i'm not naive, necessarily. just imaginative enough to be able to pretend. is that so wrong?

greg.

Peter said...

See, that's exactly what they ought to do--the retractable roof--but Carl Pohlad, the @$$hole owner of the team, actually had the stones to suggest that the taxpayers of the state had to pony up most of the money if we wanted one. What kills me is that everyone seems to think this is a good idea. I mean, I'm hardly a no tax kind of guy--I think taxes give us all kinds of things that are important and valuable to our modern life--but the guy is a freaking billionaire and wants people who don't even go to every game to pay for a ballpark? I just don't get that.

Okay, off that soapbox. The Brewers have one of the coolest, nicest stadiums I've seen--retractable roof and all--even nicer, I think, than Safeco in Seattle, which is also very nice. I still remember the old Kingdome, though--I saw Ken Griffey Jr there once when I was in junior high. In fact, I saw him hit one right over Jim Abbott's head, and Abbott actually caught it! Even the Seattle fans clapped for that one.

I'm with you on baseball, warts and all, though. Did I tell you my wife and I had our first dance at our wedding reception to Harry Carey singing Take Me Out To The Ballgame? We both donned ballcaps--mine was black with silver letters that said "Groom," and hers was white with gold letters that said "Bride." (We then danced to Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You"--I'm still somewhat of a romantic, even with baseball involved.)

What do you think of Barry Bonds? If he sets a new record, should it count? (I of course hope Torii Hunter catches anything he hits.)

Nicole and Eliot are watching the allstar game as I type this. I am jealous, because I need to work on Greek. (Sigh.)

Be good man.

greg. said...

jim abbott was incredible. what an inspiration, you know? i wish i had half the onions that guy has.

awesome story about your wedding. i had no idea. its odd to me that we have this baseball connection now but i don't really remember us ever talking about baseball much in high school/junior high. i was a baseball freak for awhile there in 7th and 8th grade. do you remember this?

so, the barry bonds issue. i was a big pirates fan in the late 80's and early 90's, having grown up in western pa. i loved the pirates, and i wanted to love bonds (because he was good), but i really couldn't. he was the biggest star on that team, but not necessarily the brightest. he didn't smile that much. he played the outfield with andy van slyke and bobby bonilla, two players with less talent than he, but, at least it seemed to me, much more heart. juxtaposed against some of these players, even in my naive 12-year old opinion, bonds seemed cold and uninterested in the game as much as money and self. in many ways, my opinion hasn't changed all that much. the fact that he seemed to double his body mass never really surprised me. i think he cheated. bottom line. i know there are arguments about how it wasn't technically against the rules at that time (depending on what he actually took, i guess), but i think he cheated. is he the only one? of course not. i guess alot of them did. there's no way to go back and undo what they did, and i guess i'm not a huge fan of discounting records or putting asterisks by them. my feeling is that there is a dark shadow over mcgwire and sosa and bonds and all of these guys. i think history will look back on this era with some real skepticism. they may hold the #'s records, but, because of the drugs, have tainted their legacy as players.

i must confess that i have secretely hoped that bonds would have some sort of career ending injury before he breaks this thing. i guess it is terrible to wish physical harm on someone, and its not that i want him to be in pain, its just that i'd like to preserve a sense that baseball will beat this shadowed era.

i like your idea of torii roaming the outfield and robbing him of a bunch of homers. torii hunter is awesome.

what do you think of barry?

Peter said...

To tell you the truth, I wasn't much of a baseball fan when I was growing up--probably, like yourself, based mostly on geography. Kentucky had no professional sports teams, as you know. So now I live in a state that has many--in the very cities where they all reside--and I am a changed person. I will probably never be a pro football fan (it just moves too slowly for me...I do enjoy rugby, though--have a classmate who plays for the Minneapolis Metro), I developed a love for baseball within a year or two of moving here. Played on the church softball league one summer, and then started enjoying watching games. First the St. Paul Saints, then the Twins (although I must secretly confess that I cheered for the Cleveland Indians whenever they came to town, to Nicole's utter embarrassment). I love the utter cameraderie that baseball brings out in people--I don't see that quite so much in other sports, so much as an adversarial spirit of "us vs them," which I suppose is a form of teambuilding, but it seems like the ugly version. I don't know. I love that we all stand up to sing a song during the 7th inning stretch. I love that baseball players pretty much all seem like decent guys, contrasted with the Vikings players who all seem hellbent on developing their criminal records. I don't love a lot of things about AmericanaTM, but I sure love baseball.

Ah, Bonds. To borrow from Rick Blaine's assessment of Captain Renault in Casablanca, one of my favorite movies, "He's like any other man, only more so." I often wonder about the differences between "celebrities" and "regular people" (like myself). Do I do things I ought not to knowing that I'm unlikely to be caught? The difference between myself and a celebrity, I think, is that there aren't a lot of little kids (well, probably only two) looking up to me as an example. But am I any less culpable? Is Bonds any less human or broken than I am?

Sorry to get philosophical there...at the same time, I'm on the same page with you on the asterisk, etc. Maybe the rules weren't the same back then. Whatever. He's hardly a role model in any other respect anyway...

greg. said...

yeah, i hear what you're saying. 'let he who is without sin cast the first stone,' and so forth. that's a word i need to hear from time to time. and so, as far as being a human, i can't begin to be judge and jury against bonds. but in terms of him being a baseball player, he probably ought to be measured against the standard of the game he chose to play (or the game that chose him, as the case may very well be in his case).

the more i have thought about it today, my problem with him has less to do with the fact that he used chemicals to try and be better at baseball and more to do with the fact that he never really seemed to enjoy the game the way he should. here is a grown man who gets to run around and play a game almost everyday. and get paid for it. i guess i just want to see him enjoy it. appreciate it. show us the joy of play, not the crippling effects of greed and selfishness. the drugs (and the home runs) are more a symptom of the problem. don't know if that makes any sense, or if i'm being unreasonable, but that's where i'm at right now. thanks for getting me thinking about this today - i've kind of been avoiding it, and, as we both know, it is going to become a part of the national conciousness here in the very near future.

Peter said...

I think your analysis is right on--the steroid abuse is more of a symptom of the actual problem. In a similar vein, I would propose, to the mountain of problems at Enron. Sure, there's plenty wrong with making lots--or ANY--money at anyone else's expense. But the root of that dishonesty moneymaking was greed and selfishness--ironically enough, as Michael Douglas's "Gordon Gecko" reminds us in Wall Street, two of the resilient building blocks of our myopically idealistic culture. America talks a good game--always has, with FreedomTM and JusticeTM For AllTM (*prices and approval may vary--see store for details)--and the nearly universally embraced American DreamTM (*availability of "Dream" may be limited to certain types of "Americans" only and may not be available to all)--but these are disturbingly deceptive. The Dream and the Freedom and Justice For All end up being The American License for Selfishness and Freedom and Justice for Anyone Who Can Make Others Subservient When It Serves Their Own Self-Interest (*see Dream, American).

Again, on a soapbox. But here's my best guess (I'm not sure I can say "Here's my conclusion," which is my usual rhetorical flourish, because in this situation I suspect I'll be guessing for quite a while): Everyone is going to be disappointing at some point. I hate that, but it's true. The best thing we might do, since we frankly can't do a lot about people who have fallen to the sirens of capitalism/licensed selfishness/etc, is keep watch for our own tendencies to disappoint others in whatever ways we do, and do what we can to make amends. It kills me to disappoint my wife or my sons. And that is precisely what I NEED: I need it to kill me. At all times, being real about our fallenness, accept our limitations as entirely like those of our (perhaps poorly chosen, perhaps well chosen) heroes, and try to do better. And subsequently, perhaps most importantly, offer forgiveness to others who disappoint us, even from a distance.

I suck at that. So, so, so much. And yet I cannot deny that I am so many times the ungrateful servant.

Lord have mercy.

greg. said...

We have ventured away from baseball, and in so doing i have been reminded of this rap song by john reuben. john is from ohio, and, while he is firmly within the chrisian ghetto, he has some really interesting/convicting things to say to the american church. what you were saying about 'liberty and justice for all' being more myth than reality reminded me of this song.

Artist: John Reuben
Album: The Boy Vs The Cynic
Year: 2005
Title: What About Them?


(chorus)
Puff the magic Jesus
Floats around the universe
The United States is His favorite place on the whole entire earth
So sing your songs and wave your flag
And thank the Lord for all you have
But what about them?
Did you forget about them?

We came we conquered never speak of this again life
Must go on let’s not think of them
Things are comfortable now the pioneers have settled in
A perfect blend of progress and pale skin
For our sake and those to come
We’ll rewrite the text so you can forget where you came from
Tell it in a way that will build your self esteem
Repackage the product and sell the American dream

(chorus)

History is best forgotten and even better rewritten
And since there’s no forgetting let’s remember it different
Commit to it so strongly till you believe it
The truth is there but you aren’t able to receive it
You need to know you’re safe here
Hide your face here cuz you found your faith here
But four walls with no windows doesn’t mean you’re it
Four walls with no windows doesn’t mean they don’t exist

(chorus)

What a prosperous, wondrous place
Remember to say grace before we scrape our plates
And ignore the crying outside the door sure
You’ll pray for their burdens but you don’t want to make it yours
Thin lines divide but there’s a world of difference
So crawl back into your happy existence and feel the bliss of ignorance keep you warm
Blessed are those who mourn but it’s so foreign
The more you have the less you care
The less you care the more you become unaware
And sure life’s not fair but it favors us apparently
And how are we to interpret this excess
Is it God’s favor ill-behavior or simply man’s modern progress
God bless us as we sweep this mess under the rug
Don’t want to walk barefoot on the tile and step in the mud
Out of sight out of mind and pushed to the side
Left for someone else to rationalize and justify

but, back to the subject of heroes, i agree with you that we have to understand that heroes, as humans, will ALWAYS disappoint. we are all bent and broken. i think we need to stop expecting perfection from people, especially our heroes. i don't think we have to work so hard at not being a disappointment to others as just trying to be real and upfront about our brokenness with each other. that is kind of what i was posting about in my post the other day called 'broken.' it is easier said than done, but if we can stop trying to be super whatevers, and start being real, our failures won't be as disappointing. maybe i speak these words particularly as a pastor who lives under a host of expectations from others and who sometimes plays to those expectations. i am super prayer and super preacher and super hospital visitor and super meeting man and super theologian and super name-rememberer and so forth and so on. but i am not really those things. i am sometimes a mess and i sometimes don't feel like shaking hands and i sometimes don't feel like praying and i sometimes don't know what to say. i think if i can be more honest about all of that up front, then i help to not set myself up to be such a disappointment to others. its not so much a lowering of their expectations, but more of a open and honest admittance of our brokenness and shame. humility.
selflessness. it always seems to come down to that.

Peter said...

Cool.

No argument with that--I know that "trying harder" doesn't really help either (and as a Lutheran I know that this remote resemblance to "works righteousness" is bad bad bad and all). But in addition to being real, which I agree is the crux of the matter, I think it also doesn't hurt to be more aware of yourself and your tendencies as you go through life--maybe make less grandiose promises to people you might disappoint, etc. Again, though, I guess that's all about being real, too--although in some sense its different, because it's being real to yourself.


Happy Fri 13th.

greg. said...

yeah. and, since we are being real and all, let me just say that it is really good to be connecting with you in this way, old friend. 16 years ago, sitting in a small room bedecked with posters of christian rock bands like whitecross and tempest, who would've guessed we'd be doing this? pretty cool.
love ya man.
greg.