Tumbling Backwards

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Together
Last week was a pretty awful week on our blue home.  45 years ago today, three of us were very far away from home preparing to orbit the moon.  45 years ago tomorrow, Michael Collins would become the loneliest human in history*.  While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended upon, landed, and walked on the moon, Collins circled above, watching his blue home rise and set over the magnificent desolation over and over again.  And waiting for his companions to return.
Since everything shot with film, there are comically few photos of this great adventure.  Imagine handing them a few space-hardened digital cameras, we’d have so many more.  Of the few, this sequence, taken when Collins spotted Armstrong and Aldrin approaching in the lunar module with the Earth rising in the distance is one of the best.
Imagine how they felt, together again.  All of us together, it is reckoned that over 600 million people were watching Apollo 11 at the same time.  All colors, all religions, all humans, all sexes and genders, together on our blue home.  It would do us all good to pause and remember again.
*He took it well, never feeling lonely.
GIF by Tom Stohlman from NASA Photo Archives scanned by NASA Johnson Center.

Together

Last week was a pretty awful week on our blue home.  45 years ago today, three of us were very far away from home preparing to orbit the moon.  45 years ago tomorrow, Michael Collins would become the loneliest human in history*.  While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended upon, landed, and walked on the moon, Collins circled above, watching his blue home rise and set over the magnificent desolation over and over again.  And waiting for his companions to return.

Since everything shot with film, there are comically few photos of this great adventure.  Imagine handing them a few space-hardened digital cameras, we’d have so many more.  Of the few, this sequence, taken when Collins spotted Armstrong and Aldrin approaching in the lunar module with the Earth rising in the distance is one of the best.

Imagine how they felt, together again.  All of us together, it is reckoned that over 600 million people were watching Apollo 11 at the same time.  All colors, all religions, all humans, all sexes and genders, together on our blue home.  It would do us all good to pause and remember again.

*He took it well, never feeling lonely.

GIF by Tom Stohlman from NASA Photo Archives scanned by NASA Johnson Center.

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Reblog the h*ll out of this.

*aeiou will all do, and sometimes y

Life Is Collaboration

foundhergrail:

Click your heels together three times and say Patreon Patreon Patreon. Then set up a Patreon account. #yesyoucan

The thing about Patreon and One Time is that while I do a lot of work organizing, curating, and editing, I know a lot of work comes from the storytellers themselves. I’m not sure how I feel about asking an audience for money based on a project that’s collaborative. 

There are two types of people in the world: Those who collaborate but think they did it all by themselves.  They have no problem asking to be paid for their work.  You are clearly the other type.

One Time is your idea*.  It will not happen without you**.  Ask us for money***.

By the way, am I on The List?

*Don’t get too full of yourself, it’s a little bit Moth, a little bit This American Life, a little bit of every storytelling circle since Homer’s.

**And the rest of us, see above*.

***Patreon, I hear, is a good model.  Ask our pal Molly for dos and don’ts.

Stephen Ashley Holt  ’s brilliant cartoon about Buzz Aldrin and the Moon Landing Conspiracy Theorists.

Stephen Ashley Holt  ’s brilliant cartoon about Buzz Aldrin and the Moon Landing Conspiracy Theorists.

Jul 9
Table of Power on Flickr.

Table of Power on Flickr.

Jul 9
Joe’s Fresh Pasta, a set on Flickr.Joe Stohlman works at Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Davis Square (Somerville, MA).
I admire his ability to connect with every customer and make their day just a little bit better.
He certainly does it for me whenever I visit.
Love,
Dad
PS He gets his good looks from his mother and his good teeth and poor eyesight from me.

Joe’s Fresh Pasta, a set on Flickr.

Joe Stohlman works at Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Davis Square (Somerville, MA).

I admire his ability to connect with every customer and make their day just a little bit better.

He certainly does it for me whenever I visit.

Love,
Dad

PS He gets his good looks from his mother and his good teeth and poor eyesight from me.
Jul 7
vidconblr:

Shoutout to the amazing volunteer team at VidCon 2014! (This is a small small group of them!)

Pink ribbon says “Totes Awesome Volunteer”.  I later got one which says ‘Totes Pale Legs”.

vidconblr:

Shoutout to the amazing volunteer team at VidCon 2014! (This is a small small group of them!)

Pink ribbon says “Totes Awesome Volunteer”.  I later got one which says ‘Totes Pale Legs”.

Jul 5

Godzilla, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and Zombies

This Independence Day, Katie and I experienced a summer blockbuster IRL. You know the one where terrifying monsters lurch down a major city street to screams and fleeing crowds.

The Boston Pops Fourth of July Concert had been cut short by a approaching storm. We saw it in the west, natural fireworks after the colorful thunder and lightning moments before.

As we turned onto Massachusetts Avenue towards home, we heard horrible screams just up ahead, crowds of concert goers scattering and fleeing. And then we saw the wall of water racing down the street. Too fast, no escape, soaked in seconds.

We ducked into the Lobby of Building 7 at MIT along with hundreds of others. MIT has an open and welcoming urban campus, a rarity. It welcomed the soaked and huddled masses, yearning to be dry, foster mother (Alma Mater) to all.

Jul 3

How to cartoonify 2-year old Tom:

Which one really captures me?

Charlie Brown by Charles Schultz from Peanuts

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Adventure Time by Pendleton Ward (and others) (I added the “fun”)

South Park by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (+Bonus Canadian character)

SpongeBob Squarepants by Stephen Hillenburg

Animaniacs by Tom Ruegger

Camp Weedonwantcha by Katie Rice and The Last Halloween by Abby Howard from Penny Arcade’s wonderful reality series Strip Search

Powerpuff Girl by Craig McCracken (technically a Powerpuff Boy)

Vidcon IRL

The brilliant Leslie Datsis (foundhergrail on most media) had a story circle on the ACC Grassy Knoll this afternoon.

It reminded all of us of the reason why we love to tell stories and how to do it best. IRL. Here was my contribution.

Wins and Losses
This is a story of when I lost my dignity but won my audience. This is also the story of a first kiss, my first public display of affection as a young adult. It was with a man wearing a red dress in a candlelit room. Everyone else was wearing black dresses, including me.

I believe we have a choice in this world about how to tell stories. On the one hand, you can spin it – nothing is too boring that it can’t be fixed with a good lie or a quote from a great movie. I like that version as much as the next guy , but they’re just not the truth.

This is the truth.

The Catholic Archbishop of Washington, DC had come to say a special Mass for the nuns at Annunciation Parish. Becoming a nun was really the only way a woman could be active in the rituals of the Catholic church. Priests, lay readers, deacons, sub-deacons, and altar boys were all male.

This was a once-in-a-lifetime Mass. The nuns needed an altar boy who knew all the rituals, the prayers, and the responses. They needed someone with experience, with gravitas, someone who exuded faith, hope, love…saintliness. They needed an all-star. They needed an altar man.

I was 12 years old. I had been an altar boy longer than anyone else in school. Latin Mass, piece of cake (fragmen crustulam) , I was trained in delivering wafers, water, and wine on a silver tray. I could light candles four feet above my head. I looked snappy in a black dress. I was that all-star.

The Mass was going well until the nuns lined up to kiss the Archbishop’s ring. A full surrogate and participant in the Mass, I knelt with them, first in line. This was a curveball I had never experienced at Mass before.

I knew all about kissing, I’d been kissed regularly from the day I entered the world. I moved from being kissed to kissing back. I saw kisses on TV, I read about them in books, saw them frozen in the magazines and newspapers which arrived at 3027 University Terrace every day. I could do this, piece of crustulam.

The man in the red dress approached and held out his ring. All of my extensive kissing experience drained from my head. THINK. Should it be wet or dry, soft or firm, silent or musical? I was setting the bar for all to follow.

Catholics know what happens if you laugh in church. They tried hard not to, even as they applied dry soft silent kisses to the ring. The Nuns of Annunciation Parish were going straight to hell.