Life of J

September 23, 2011 at 1:27 am (By Amba)

(It’s a little rough because of the compression.)


  1. amba12 said,

    Execution, better than I could have dreamed, was by filmmaker Mike Busch.

  2. Melinda said,

    I watched this on my work PC, which has no sound card, and the story is still engrossing.

  3. amba12 said,

    I advise a listen with sound — lotta Paul Simon in the soundtrack. (YouTube has already let me know I’m duplicating copyrighted content — perhaps not enough of any one thing to cause a ruckus, though.)

  4. Randy said,

    It’s wonderful, Annie! Really well done – and a great tribute.

  5. karen said,

    Exactly what Randy said.
    We’ve seen bits and pieces, and know some story behind certain pictures, but to see it all and… just so great of you to share him.

  6. mileslascaux said,

    splendid! Forwarding …

  7. Sippican Cottage said,


  8. Emilie said,

    So great! Just wonderful.

  9. Melinda said,

    You’re right; even more powerful with the soundtrack.

  10. mockturtle said,

    A masterpiece! I enjoyed every moment of this endearing portrait of a great life well lived. What a tribute! What a man!

  11. LouiseM said,

    Wow. Cried at the part where he was running. So much life in one person, one man. The music almost as powerful as the pictures throughout. My orange marmalade came over to rub the computer and stand on the keys during the cat section. Beautiful sequencing. The story of a life, filled with adversity, suffering, triumph, love…the dark and light of community.

  12. Irene said,

    This is so beautiful and touching. The photos and memories are truly beautiful.

  13. A said,

    This is beyond wonderful!

  14. TT Burnett (formerly Theo Boehm) said,

    Amazing. Absolutely first-rate.

  15. Danny said,

    Wow, AMAZING video, thanks so much for sharing it with us!

  16. Ruth Anne said,

    I believe I need to hear the story about that saucy apron get-up.

    Loved the film and the man.

  17. The Other Elle said,

    Lovely. Just lovely.

  18. karen said,

    Amba, did J have such a heavy accent always, or did he accentuate the positive to fit the characters he portrayed?

    I miss my friends… can you post again soon?

  19. amba12 said,

    Karen!! I’ve been missing you, and wondering/worrying how you are. I meant to send you this link in an e-mail yesterday. I sent you a book, did it arrive?

    In most of those clips, J was layering on a fake accent (Russian or Polish) on top of his real accent. The one where he’s the chef and yells “Walter, will you get some f**in’ plates??” is what he really sounded like.

  20. karen said,

    I only check in here about 4 times/day-it seems my dull life(in terms of talk and info)is so limited and even though Allan and i have depth to our conversations– i love/miss hearing how and what others are thinking.

    Yes!!! Got the book and am starting to delve into it– oxytocin — that explains everything:0)! I think when cows calve(give birth)and they start licking off their new, wet babies- the oxytocin releases and that helps them to ~clean~- which is to say- get rid of their placenta& they leak milk like mad-yellow, thick colostrum. Then, if we don’t get the afterbirth from them, they eat it(sorry if that’s too much information). I find it comforting to think about how naturally maternal they are(most of them, anyway).

    As to the link– i can’t imagine the work that all takes. Isn’t it amazing and so texturally beautiful? It’s like nature’s colour chart:0). (Or edible beauty–cucumelons-lol.) That’s how the trees are here, now. Except that- it’s been so dreary these past days(ok- week)that the colour isn’t vibrating much.

    How am i? I’ll e-mail you when i get the strength- last week was so hard, this week seems ok. The loss(of course) is like a lost limb, more so for my husband– it makes me realize what you are dealing w/& Melinda when she lost.

    … & the other issue… is a wound.

    Still… what a great accent to have breathed in your ear or to feel the sound w/your head on his chest– that’s how i feel about memories of when i was little, actually. Safety. and love.

  21. mockturtle said,

    Karen, I remember seeing my grandparents’ cows eating the placentas. Is that not good? These were beef cattle, not dairy. I guess I assumed there was some benefit to it or they wouldn’t be doing it.

  22. amba12 said,

    Most mammals eat the placenta.

  23. amba (Annie Gottlieb) said,

    Possible reasons are: restorative nourishment after the stress of pregnancy and birth; helpful hormones; and removing a possible attractant for predators.

  24. mockturtle said,

    I always suspected it had some helpful hormones in it. Even so, I did not eat my placentas after giving birth to my offspring. Maybe if they were seasoned and grilled….;-)

  25. Melinda said,

    One of my all-time fave comic strips:

  26. karen said,

    OMGGGGG- Melinda- LM(frreaking)AO!!

    You know- when i saw my placenta(s)(4)(i always asked to see them, for some reason they fascinate me since that’s the connection, the security blanket the baby was wrapped in for 9 mos)– i had an urge to bury it deeply in the woods:0). I should have asked for it. I wonder if they would have(the hospital)given it to me? Some women do that, i’ve heard.

    Growing up, my Dad always took the placenta away if he was around because he thought the cow could chock on it– idk, maybe. It might interrupt the natural process of things, but losing a cow… is a business blow as well as personal(when feelings for her are involved on a personal level).

    Thank you for boosting my spirits, ~guys~. I really miss the conversation on these threads:0).

  27. amba12 said,


  28. mockturtle said,

    Melinda, that’s so funny! :-D Looking back on our collective lunacy makes me wonder how we could have been so serious about everything. Not that I would throw the baby out with the bathwater [or the placenta]. A lot of our ideas were sound. :-)

  29. karen said,

    MockT:I laugh thinking it’s so — far-fetched. You l laugh because you lived that??? hehe- cyclical thinking on a merry-go-round!.

  30. mockturtle said,

    Yes, I was a hippie at first then a radical. It’s not that we never had some laughs–after all, we smoked a LOT of weed! :-D But we grasped our causes very tightly and believed, unequivocally, that we were right about everything.
    Annie’s wonderful book, Do You Believe in Magic? swept a big wave of nostalgia over me and made me yearn for the ‘good old days’ of the 60’s. :-)

  31. karen said,

    I wonder if that’s because the 60’s were carefree days because of your beliefs– or because of the youth to be enjoyed and the ~lack of responsibilities~ that came w/that?

    Probably both!! I don’t have a time in my life like that– the 60’s… it’s all more like- when i was 13. Although- i loved the 70’s expressly because i was young. Idk, maybe there can only be a handful of really definitive generations– mine is not one of them, though. That’s ok by me. I think we’re Gen X.

  32. mockturtle said,

    I had responsibilities in the 60’s–married with two kids. The kids took part with us in peace marches and guerrilla theater along with the other kids in our group. Most of the men and a few of the women had jobs. We didn’t ditch everything and hang out in Haight. But it was carefree because of the lack of materialism and the ever-present camaraderie. The commonality of values united us in a way that hasn’t been seen since.

    Later, in the 80’s, I did an about-face and became a conservative Republican. Now I hover precariously between the two extremes and wish for that same certainty and sense of purpose that we enjoyed then. But I am older–and wiser.

  33. Icepick said,

    Karen, Gen-X is usually defined as those born between 1965 and 1981. There are different definitions, too. From the Wikipedia entry, some sociological commentary on the 13th Generation:

    Older generations generally have negative perceptions of Reactive generations—whose members tend to be pragmatic and perceptive, savvy but amoral, more focused on money than on art[17] — and the use of 13 is also intended to associate this perception with the negative connotations of that number.

    The authors highlight this negative perception by noting the popularity of “devil-child” movies, wherein children are portrayed as malevolent protagonists (e.g. Rosemary’s Baby[18]), released soon after the generation’s first members were born.

  34. Randy said,

    After the wife of one my college classmates had their baby assisted by a mid-wife at home, they did cook and eat the placenta. That was the mid-70’s.

  35. mockturtle said,

    It strikes me as a bit cannibalistic.

  36. karen said,

    It’s definitely primal. Not so much cannibalistic for me, but– it’d be like eating something like, idk– the garbage parts? Yet, the older generations used to eat everything. My Dad’s folks used to make blood sausage(boo-daeh(that’s the sound, not the correct sp, and the accented high syllable on BOO)and they loved head cheese(yeah, something to do w/a pig’s brain). I have never tried either one, probably missing out on something good and disappearing, but… yuck. I think you can only get that stuff over the border, unless the ~old practices~ are brought back at butchering time.

    As for the GenX– that’s me:0). ’67! And you, 2, ice, ’cause you’re a little younger than me, IIRC(heh, i love that Randy taught me that). I love the #13, am neither amoral nor savvy– usually perceptive, pragmatic- not so much– love art, money… well, as long as we can pay the bills.

    Never saw ~Rosemary’s Baby~.

  37. mockturtle said,

    Never saw Rosemary’s Baby??? Good movie, really. Kind of funny, kind of scary, very suspenseful.

    My ex was raised in TX and liked head cheese–yuck! It looks like jellied vomit, to me! My current husband was raised in England and liked blood sausage although, thankfully, we never had any here.

  38. karen said,

    :0). To each his/her own!

  39. Melinda said,

    Rosemary’s Baby looks like what you’d see if Woody Allen made a horror movie. Glamorous old building on the Upper West Side, theater people, wacky neighbors who may or may not be worshiping Satan…

  40. mockturtle said,

    Ruth Gordon was just great as the neighbor.

  41. mockturtle said,

    The book, by Ira Levin, was less effective, IMHO. Rather like the novel, Jaws which was mediocre, at best, but made into a first-rate adventure by Spielberg.

  42. Icepick said,

    Karen, I was born in 1968, so you remember correctly.

    The novel Jaws sticks out for a few reasons.

    First of all, in the novel you definitely root for the shark to eat everybody – even the people that never get in the ocean. In the movie you really only want the shark to eat the children. (What is it with Speilberg movies featuring super obnoxious children? I guess he’s trying for precocious, but God how I wanted the dinosaurs to eat those damned children in Jurassic Park.)

    Second, I was amazed that Sheriff Brody could go 24 hours between urinations.

    Third, I wondered how anyone could have a sexual fixation on a shark.

    And forth, I’m pretty sure that the book made more sense on one point, namely that the shark eats Hooper. (Which is the high point of Hooper’s life, him being a pervert for sharks and all.)

  43. mockturtle said,

    That’s what I loved about Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory–what happened to the obnoxious children. :-D

  44. mockturtle said,

    Ice, I have a daughter your age. :-)

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