The DG Tour: Warrior Retribution – Part 7

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Together they would watch everything that was so carefully planned collapse, and they would smile at the beauty of destruction. ~ Markus Zusak

 

THE DELUSIONAL GRANDEUR TOUR: LAST STAND OF A ROCK STAR

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THE DG Tour: Warrior Retribution – Part 6

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When the metallic scent of blood is in the air, and your hands are sticky with iron, there is always the temptation to flee. When the saw blade screams its shrill warning and the atmosphere is thick with dread, there is the desire to shriek.

Do not run. Do not yell. Simply submit.

It is easier that way.

There are some things from which you cannot escape.

Your blood is but one of them.

The stains of your sins are another.

Some scars can never be washed away.

As for what you have done…

And everything you are about to do…

There will be retribution – even for the grandest of warriors.

The heart sends every one of us to battle.

THE DELUSIONAL GRANDEUR TOUR: LAST STAND OF A ROCK STAR

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The Bloody Heights of Grandeur

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The Delusional Grandeur Tour returns to Boston this weekend, but first a look back at where we’re at, and from where we’ve come:

01)  Intro/Curtain – Part OnePart TwoPart Three

02)  Sunset Pool – Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart FourPart Five

03)  On The Road Hotel – Part OnePart TwoPart Three

04)  Rock Star Addict – Part OnePart TwoPart Three

 

05)  Animal Demons – Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart FourPart Five

06)  Steam Punk Birdcage – Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart Four

07) Red Riding Wood – Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five

08) Winter Top Hat – Part One, Part Two

09) Warrior Retribution – Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five

Tomorrow we continue the Warrior Retribution battle, and as you may have noticed, things are getting bloody good… or good and bloody.

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Drifting Snow

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“I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.” - Mae West

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The Day’s Eye

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The title of this post is the supposed common-name origin of the daisy. Being that they are JoAnn’s favorite flower, and this weekend’s Boston gathering is for her, I thought it fitting to kick off the festivities with the cheerful bloom. Suzie likes them too, and even I can appreciate their powerful simplicity and happy countenance.

Because of its wildflower status, and lack of refinement in a formal garden setting, the common daisy doesn’t get the same adulation as its more hybridized relatives, but the smaller and less-perfect blooms you find on the roadside carry their own charms. They have nothing to prove, content to exist and bloom beneath the heat of high day, holding their own against the brutal wind of passing cars or the chomping of a deer. Simplicity and endurance are a regular, and regal, pairing.

Behold the glory of the day’s eye.

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Hunk of the Day: Guilherme Rufino

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Certain models can play any role, transforming with just a shift in look or expression, light or shadow, and such is the magical case of the Hunk of the Day Guilherme Rufino. With the slightest change in posture or smile, Mr. Rufino can elicit a wide-ranging spectrum of effects. Judge for yourself with this small but sexy smattering of pics.

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Office View, Middle of the Day

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Outside the 10th floor windows of my office, a hawk soars in circles. Carving wide curves in the air, its wings catch the currents and it floats high above downtown Albany. It doesn’t seem to be looking for anything to eat – no scurrying rodent down below, no nest to raid a little higher – it simply glides through the sky.

Without getting too anthropomorphic, it appears to be exulting in the freedom that being a bird entails.

Behind the glass, behind the blinds, I am not the only one who envies that freedom.

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The Hours Before a Gathering

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That Virginia Woolf moment when all you want to do is throw a party, but your whole inner-world is in turmoil, so you go out and buy flowers because it’s the last thing that might save your sanity – this is not a picture of that. Instead, it’s a portrait of the last big party I had in Boston – for JoAnn’s 40th birthday. This year we’re reconvening on a smaller and more intimate scale, and Kira will once again help out for the festivities. (At least, I hope she will…)

Spring gatherings always remind me of Gatsby, of nights when the perfume of unseen blossoms fills the air, and the world seems filled with the unfurling hope and promise of summer. In the hours before the guests arrive, we pause and take in the moment. All the preparation and cleaning, all the assembly and finishing – it comes together and there is an hour or two of quiet and peace. Sometimes that’s the best part of a party.

In order to have the best of both worlds, this upcoming gathering is designed to be on the cozier side of things. Very rarely do I get to talk to everyone at a party because there is too much going on and too many people involved. I’m looking forward to breaking that spell.

 

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Street Flotsam

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The dull and the mundane are often overlooked, but they have their stories too. Most of the time they never get told – too unexceptional, too uninteresting, too commonplace to be worthy of a tale. I’m not going to say anything on their behalf, however, as it would be conjecture and half-hearted guessing at best. Weave your own back-stories and make up your own fantasies on how these objects came to be discarded. It is a world of the lost.

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Hunk of the Day: Ashley McKenzie

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According to the internet, “Ashley McKenzie is an English judoka.” I had to look that up, but it basically means he’s a master of judo, so much so that he was in the Olympics for his talents. At 5’4″ and 132 pounds, he packs a powerful punch for such a small package, but good things come in small packages. This is sounding far dirtier than originally intended. Even when we try to get on the path to innocence, all roads lead to the gutter. Congrats to Mr. McKenzie on being named Hunk of the Day.

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The Madonna Timeline: Song #125 – ‘Everybody’ – 1982

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 {Note: The Madonna Timeline is an ongoing feature, where I put the iPod on shuffle, and write a little anecdote on whatever was going on in my life when that Madonna song was released and/or came to prominence in my mind.}

I KNOW YOU’VE BEEN WAITING, YEAH

I’VE BEEN WATCHING YOU, YEAH

I KNOW YOU WANNA GET UP, YEAH

COME ON…

 

EVERYBODY, COME ON, DANCE AND SING

EVERYBODY, GET UP AND DO YOUR THING

EVERYBODY, COME ON, DANCE AND SING

EVERYBODY, GET UP AND DO YOUR THING

 

Her first official single, ‘Everybody’ was Madonna’s clarion call to the world to ‘Dance and sing, get up and do your thing.’ Strangely enough, it was never a favorite of mine, and to my recollection she only performed it on two tours (The Virgin Tour and The Girlie Show Tour). It was the latter’s performance, where she intertwined some Sly and the Family Stone, that won me over with its funkiness (and Madonna’s exuberance when performing it for the masses).

LET THE MUSIC TAKE CONTROL

FIND A GROOVE AND LET YOURSELF GO

WHEN THE ROOM BEGINS TO SWAY

YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TRYING TO SAY

 

COME ONE, TAKE A CHANCE

GET UP AND START THE DANCE

LET THE DJ SHAKE YOU

LET THE MUSIC TAKE YOU

EVERYBODY, COME ON, DANCE AND SING

EVERYBODY, GET UP AND DO YOUR THING

EVERYBODY, COME ON, DANCE AND SING

EVERYBODY, GET UP AND DO YOUR THING

Despite its iconic historical status, the song still doesn’t do much for me. And as much as I appreciate the sentiment, and its rallying egalitarian cry for all-inclusive fun, I’m just not especially impressed with it. That’s ok. Even the most die-hard Madonna fans have songs that rank low on their personal lists. Besides, if and when she decides to rework this for a live performance, I’m sure I’ll be the first on board to join in the fun.

LET YOUR BODY TAKE A RIDE

FEEL THE BEAT AND STEP INSIDE

MUSIC MAKES THE WORLD GO ‘ROUND

YOU CAN TURN YOUR TROUBLES UPSIDE DOWN

GONNA HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR MIND

GONNA LEAVE YOUR TROUBLES BEHIND

YOUR BODY GETS THE NOTION WHEN YOUR FEET CAN MAKE THE MOTION


EVERYBODY, COME ON, DANCE AND SING

EVERYBODY, GET UP AND DO YOUR THING

EVERYBODY, COME ON, DANCE AND SING

EVERYBODY, GET UP AND DO YOUR THING

It was the beat-fueled chirp of a raw form that would soon transform into the Madonna that conquered the world, but for that moment, it was just a girl dancing and singing and doing her thing. Celebratory, carefree, and completely unaware of all that her life was about to become. Or maybe she did know, and the rest of us simply had to catch up.

DANCE & SING, GET UP DO YOUR THING.

SONG #125 – ‘Everybody’ – 1982

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Hunk of the Day: Nathan McCallum

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Curator of the “exercise in awesome” Bangarang Blog (a rare one that lives up to its billing), Nathan McCallum is the Hunk of the Day. Whether rocking a whimsically rugged mustache or casually displaying a chic peek of his wardrobe, Mr. McCallum offers visual delights and witty inspiration on his blog, and in the way he lives his life. Congrats to such a stylish Renaissance man on his first Hunk of the Day honor. Here’s to collecting photos for his second, which is no doubt already in the works…

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Missing A Mad, Mad World

I miss ‘Mad Men.’

None of my friends got quite as into it as I did.

Maybe it was the deliberate pace of the show, and the nuanced atmsophere and detail-saturated obsession that its creators managed to create and maintain over its entire run.

There was something Zen-like about the show, in the way that somewhat-violent but fantastical trilogies sometimes are (‘Star Wars’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings‘ for example). ‘Mad Men’ carried its own violence, but it was in the splintering of families, the devastation of divorce, and the disillusionment of a country awakening to its inner-turmoil. Decades away, but it might as well have been yesterday.

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Another Lesson from the Outside

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Another major lesson of gardening (of which I was reminded this week) is to listen. Not to the birds and the bugs and the other noisy stuff, but to the grander story the garden is telling you. It’s not usually a short story – it plays out over years, when the cycles and the growing patterns can be established and observed. This is one of the more difficult lessons – patience is tough, but the lesson itself is easy. The lesson of learning to listen is tricky, because it also involves understanding what is being told. It’s also a thing that unfolds over time, something in which most people today aren’t willing to invest.

For many years, I fought listening to the garden. I fought against the soil type and the climate ad the rainfall, and I thought I could defy nature and create micro-climates and other such ideals that would enable tricky plants to grow well. That’s only possible to a certain extent, and in the end it’s a losing battle. In recent years I’ve come to embrace what the garden was saying.

A stand of Solomon’s seal flourished and multiplied, so I spread it around the backyard – a gorgeous motif that lasted spring until fall. The early spires gracefully unfurling, and giving way to sweetly-scented flower rows, then the handsome variegated foliage that stood stout and pretty through the high heat of summer, and finally the bright yellow transformation of fall – these were hardy yet gorgeous plants that I’d taken for granted. They did well in the shady nooks of my backyard, but I wanted to grow sea holly and tea roses so I did, and I failed.

Those failures need to be heard. With a generous gift certificate, I invested in a Lady’s slipper orchid – $180 from White Flower Farm – and it was heartbreaking when, no matter what I did, it failed to thrive. I watered it with dechlorinated water, which is no easy feat with our hot and dry summers, yet it did dismally, ultimately dying, so I gave up on that species and settled for a more traditional and robust hosta. An average plant that does well is always prettier than an exotic plant doing poorly.

That’s hard to take when you want to cultivate the rare and exotic, but there’s no point in forcing something that’s never going to happen. We’ll save that for another lesson.

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Hunk of the Day: Ryan Serhant

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Andy Cohen and his Bravo network have a way of making traditionally mundane characters (housewives and real estate agents, for example) into exotic and fascinating (if often infuriating) creatures. Case in point is his bevy of ‘Million Dollar Listing’ boys, including the Hunk of the Day, Ryan Serhant. Rated as one of the top real estate agents in the country, Mr. Serhant gives a memorable peek of his assets here (and in the occasional shower scene).

 

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