Wednesday, April 30, 2003

blogger bites

please excuse blogger's page formatting. it's not the most consistant server in the world.
[boulder, part iii] nothing tastes better...

we could have stood in the free cone line two, three, four times that day. we walked past it a bunch. "free cones!" said the guy working the crowd, inviting us in. "we already had one," we told him and he shrugged and gave a knowing smile, "nothing tastes better than a free ice cream cone." a couple of hours later a couple homeless-looking men were pimping the free scoops from their bench perches. "free ice cream," they called out, "nothing tastes better...."

the buskers on pearl street were really good. like, why-are-you-out-here-busking and not-at-some-local-pub if not-working-as-a-studio-musician or even-have-your-own-record good. the first guy, who serenaded in our general direction during a breakfast jaunt, knew every southern-70s song and sang them as if his last name was almann or doobie or may have tended to some dixie chickens (perhaps he was our tennessee man?). down a block was a lyre-banjo duo playing amazing bluegrass. they should have had a bigger crowd.
[boulder, part ii] but a million things really did go right

but i forgot to mention the bits of goodness that framed our trip: allison's show was a lot of fun and the cast (especially our miss kissling, of course) was really talented; everywhere we needed to be, we got to in the nick o' time. i mean... down to the thousandth of a second! we shoulda had olympic stop watches with us, we were so precise (or was that lucky?). fun music, especially laura love (her song "trickle down" became our anthem with the first two songs as our car-seat boogie soundtrack). great food (we lived on warm turkey focaccia sandwiches). the boulder bookstore. (mmmm. they make the best americano.). all the books we bought (lots! and they are great!). tulips tulips tulips. elk elk elk. harleys harleys harleys. (and for kristin) mtn bikers mtn bikers mtn bikers (!!) <-- exclamation points for her as well. (she's a mountain biker). oh and we cannot leave out the free ben and jerry's cones! yum. what else? being able to catch a mighty wind. fun dinners about town. i'm sure i'm missing other little trip treats that seemed to place themselves in front of us at many a turn.
boulder, bolder

kristin, often seen here referred to as kb, and i went to denver. our friend, and former coworker, allison was in a musical review in longmont. we'd both been wanting to get away and spend some r&r time kicking back, so we thought we'd go out to see allison's play and then have some time to relax and enjoy the rocky mountain air.

denver was fun (cherry creek in particular), but boulder and it's suroundings were really great. tulips and buskers are quickly taking over pearl street, while bikers (both kinds) rule the roadways and the elk rule the pastures (in estes national park.). pictures to come.

it only got super stressful when america worst, our airline du jour, made us late for our connecting flight back to slo town last night. it was disappointing. the entire plane was cranky. i think we all missed our connecting flights. and we ended up at a third-rate radison (please, never stay there) with astonishingly overpriced meals and almost nonexisting service. (this would be the part where i got cranky). kristin had sprained her ankle. so the running to the missed connection, the having to go back afterwards, the waiting in line for overnight stay, and the lugging around of bags was just one big bummer. kind of a drag way to end a really fun little trip.

but we realized it could have been a million times worse.
  • the hail that stormed the car on our way to denver international, could have cracked our windshield or created an accident.

  • the car, which was on E for the entire mad dash to the airport, could have ran out of gas (in said hail storm).

  • we could have paid $5 a gallon to fill up at Thrifty Car Rental (we were able to fill up just outside the airport).

  • there could have been a plane crash.

  • there could have been crying babies.

  • there could have been really important events to miss, like a wedding or some such.

  • there could have been no room at the inn.

so like the sign i saw in a boulder boutique said, "a million things went right today."

Friday, April 25, 2003


i love the bean for many reasons. but her comments about truth and non-truths (i say, not wanting to type the word lies, but there i did it) is spot-on. and sad. viva la guts to say the truth.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003


my friend stephen sent me a list of pics, via ofoto. taken a while back, some halloween, some from tom's birthday a couple of weeks ago, there was one picture of s. that was just nice. and i told him, nice pic. show that to all girls you may be interested in. very hot. and he wrote back and said, really? i don't really see that. and i wrote back and said,

"really? you didn't think the blue shirt picture was hot? seriously. put that in your wallet. bring it out. show it off. make it a permanent attachment file for all email going to the double-x chromosome types. i like the twinkly eyes and the sexy necklace. also, could be used as trump card in the middle of a fight. you could pull it out and go "see? remember?" and then said mad girl will melt like butter and everything will be better in the world."

damn. i should start my own love advice column. i'd do it. i would. but then they (the ubiquitous they) would say, what are your credentials? and then i'd be, oh, yeah. that's right. never mind.

catherine jamieson has put up some of her clotheslines works. i wish i were in a space to be more creative and to wax poetic on how much i love these photos. but i've talked about them before, if you wanna see what i've written in the past. meanwhile, go go go and check them out now while the gettin' is good.

Sunday, April 20, 2003


t.: we're creating an artists' portal.
m.: an artist's pie hole?
t.: a pot hole. i thought about making an artist's pot roast, but that would give me a pot belly. this conversation has now gone to pot.
m.: it's 4/20 dude!

it's not that you don't have problems anymore. it's that none of your problems are problematic.

i called my dad on friday. confused. i was supposed to leave work early (to get my hair done). i was supposed to go on a three-day mahayana retreat. but i felt like maybe i shouldn't do either of these things. i'm going to colorado next weekend and i should save money. and the weekend has become my safety net for work: it's funny what a few extra hours on sunday can do for your work sanity for the next week. just a couple extra hours to go over everything... yadda yadda yadda.

so i wanted to know... what did he think i should do?

number one, he said, go to the retreat. you want to give something to your job? go meditate and offer them some sanity.

number two, he said, you owe it to the world. (i took my bodhisattva vows in december).

and number three, he says, get your hair done. it will make you feel good.


sigh. he was so right.

the retreat was great. the group there is one i've been getting to know for over a year. shambhala levels, a couple weekend retreats, a 10-day retreat, and my boddhisattva vows. and i smile when i say that because it is nice to have relationships you have through the dharma/sangha and it's nice to be at about the same place on the path. specifically there are three women there that i feel very comfortable with, like we've been friends a long time. i feel like i can talk to them about anything and vice versa. so they were there and that added a nice layer to the weekend.

but the teachings. man. they were meaty and good and juicy and mind-filling and heart-opening. someday i'll be a learned practitioner who will be able to talk about this stuff with grace. but i'm not there yet. but the teachings this weekend... were just so poignant and good and life-opening.

and i was reminded what i need to do: sit. sit. sit. sit. every day.

over a year ago, when i was in the throes of a really good sitting practice...i was sitting about 30 – 40 minutes a day... i could really see the effect on my life and it was transforming. everything was workable. everything seemed doable. i don't know what it is about sitting, but it REALLY adds a layer of open-hearted sanity.

a few months ago my practice began to wane until it became an un-practice. and again, life-altering. things weren't so manageable. workable? maybe sometimes... maybe. and i found myself being a bit more reactive. and confused and self-doubting.

so i've now seen what life is like with it and what life is like without it.

i'm choosing with it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

m. ward is coming to town

matt used to live at the house. a very quiet housemate. i'll never forget my ... amazement for lack of a better word the first time i ever saw him play. here was this very quiet unassuming person who'd lived in my house like a native american — so quiet and so concientious whispering through the forest so that no track was left and no leaf unturned.

so i went to see matt play when he was still in a band with kyle. rodriguez. and he was... big. a big energy. and jumpy. and loud. and musical. and kind of... just coming to life. like a firecracker.

i giggled the whole time.

that was years ago. a half a decade behind me. meshing with the edges, the shadows of my memory.

he is touring with vic chestnut and is returning to our sleepy little town.

meanwhile i listen to his latest cd, transfiguration of vincent. and it is good. scratchy. soft. melancholy. bittersweet. he's an indian-summer afternoon.
truer words were never spoken

I just don't think anyone can fully understand the catastrophe of all that's happened without actually having been there. Everything else is pure speculation. — Gayle T (from a mailing list)

this was in response to someone's heartfelt awe at the looting and loss that has happened to Iraqi museums and libraries.

although i share the other person's pov — i have to admit that i also share gayle's thought. and i almost feel sick to try to imagine. it just isn't fair and there is a bit of sick voyeurism to it... here we all are... so comfortable without even really thinking about it... and there is real catastrophe out there. how smug to even try to identify with it.
food for thought

my friend jeanne lives in mexico city and has been doing some research on snack food... today i got a very interesting email from her:

I'm doing research today for a new, snack food account that we just won.

The information I'm coming up with is really disgusting.

The snack food market in the US was worth 28 billion dollars in 1999.

In Mexico, it's currently worth 1.24 billion dollars, and we IMPORT another 54 million dollars in snacks.

That doesn't include soft drinks. Just sweet and salty snacks.

World hunger could be eliminated if people just stopped SNACKING.

If everyone gave up their potato chips and candy bars and donated the money to the UN, there would be no starving children in the world.

And the ugly facts on the other side of the coin...

Last week I was working on information for a pharmaceutical company that makes a prescription weight reduction product. (Never a dull moment in advertising.)

According to a new report by the WHO, for the first time in human history the number of overweight people rivals the number of the starving.

I was totally stunned by that news.

In the 1980s the number of the world's undernourished dropped slightly to 1.1 billion, where it remains today. However there are now an estimated 1.2 billion overweight people in the world.

Can you believe that?

We're doing something terribly, terribly wrong.

I can't quite get my mind around the logic of it all.

well, no kidding.

and this all comes to me at a semi-interesting time as i feel the need to do a whole-life fast. meaning, clean food, clean thoughts, clean intentions. okay okay, i am virgo hear me go on and on about improving to a squeaky clean lifestyle, but it is what i want. truly. well... mostly.

and so i am thinking of pledging for one month to not eat pre-packaged snack food. including soda. i'm not committing now. i'm just thinking out loud. more to come.

Monday, April 14, 2003

meandering, languid, word paintings

witold: canvas girl
catherine: can i borrow a dime?

the best reason to have a blog

witold: yes i advertise


chester is the department head for our admin/it/netops department. he's a sweety and proud parent and all-around nice guy. i defy you to find a nicer guy, actually. and he rarely gets flustered or loses his temper and always has a lot of patience with me when i am at my wits end. this all wins him major points. meanwhile...

marya: check out my new pen — write with it....
chester: can i left with it?
marya: as long as you don't leave with it.

marya: know what's cool about your job? you learn how to spell everyone's last name.
chester: yeah but i only know everyone's first initial.

Sunday, April 13, 2003


i don't know what is up with these spacer gifs that are appearing with images (you may or may not see them). i'll look into it tomorrow. but meanwhile — things are morphing at emdot. i just felt like a change.

april is the cruelest month? april is the coolest month.

and in honor of april being national poetry month, i give you a month's worth of poems. and yeah yeah yeah, you've seen them on these pages before. but now they are all gathered together in one great poetry portal. for you. my gift for you. and they are awesome. so what are you waiting for? get those fingers clicking and check out poemdot (okay that is a reach... i don't know what to call the page yet.)

in flux (redux)
but it's not just the site that is changing. everything seems to be in flux. it feels like a good time to pare down. simplify simplify simplify. this was my first weekend in a looooooong time to do nothing. and nothing i did. well... i drew. i wrote. i read. i poemed. i redesigned some header graphics. i got in some good rem-quality-time. i made all my meals (almost... there was thai tonight with dan and corinna). but mostly i just hung out and chilled and that was just what the doctor ordered.

and speaking of fluxing and reduxing
catherine jamieson's site is ever-evolving. i think she has a new site design every other day and her content multiplies like rabbits. today, photos are back up. here is something i said about catherine's site back in the day:

Sometimes it is knowing that that brings things into sharper focus. The petals of a flower. The hum of a stranger in another aisle in the grocery store. The bounce of light off of a body of water. These are the things that get stuck in my throat until they manifest into little tears. These are the things that wrinkle my brow and curve my lips and crinkle my eyes. The delicacy. The fragility. The amazing coincidence that all these atoms happened to make us all up. And that we can think about it.

It's amazing.

And that is what Catherine's pictures capture. For me, that is what I respond to. That is what she is able to capture with her camera... the intangible. The tears in the throat. The connection with nature. The recognition in other another human being.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
— Dwight Eisenhower, April 16, 1953
hope/no hope

last week i mentioned to macker that one of the differences between christians and buddhists is hope. where christians embrace hope, buddhists (at least in my lineage) see hope as something that separates you from the present moment, and something that might encourage samsara (suffering) because your happiness is based on some hopeful thing in the future.

i was thinking about god... if there is a god... and what the purpose of creating a life might be. and what i'm thinking is that life is this great gift. and all we can really do is just... make the most of this gift. and what is life except one moment after the other. so how do you make the most of life, but to actually experience these moments.

and not experiencing them is something that we are all guilty of every day. not "guilty-guilty"... but life just gets away from us, doesn't it?

and then i thought, here god gives us this juicy life and from a christian point of view, all the money is in the bank for heaven. and i have no idea about if there is a heaven or if there is no heaven. i don't know. and maybe this is short-sighted of me (heh. story of my life), but i'm not really that worried about heaven... i'm more concerned about actually experiencing these moments right now.

and in reality can't any experience be heaven/hell? so in a way you can create your own heaven in your life right now in this moment.

and how do you do that except by embracing this very moment. whether you are happy or sad or angry or in pain or being hurt by someone else or hurting someone else. being in the moment and actually being alive/awake/aware of this moment -- isn't that opening up to your life and creating a bit of heaven on earth?

anyway, back to hope and fear.

i think the big difference is that christians feel they will never be enough and are constantly striving striving striving to be better. to not sin. burdened with guilt or puffed up by arrogance about being such a great person.

where as buddhists (my brand, anyway) are more about just making friends with who you actually are. looking at the messy stuff, the embarrassing stuff, the angry stuff, the jealous stuff, the beautiful stuff, the sweetsmelling stuff and just embracing the whole thing. loving the neurosis. loving the sanity. but not really getting "attached" to either.

and i think that might be a form of heaven on earth.

and for people who believe in god, what better way to celebrate the gift of life; what better way to show your thankfulness, your gratitude, then just embracing all of it, and then getting on with what needs to be done (blowing your nose, cleaning your windows, making your children breakfast, paying a car fine, etc).

so anyway... hope/no hope... this is how i would explain it. hope is living in the future. no hope is embracing what you've got.


being satisfied with what we already have is a magical golden key to being alive in a full, unrestricted, and inspired way. one of the major obstacles to what is traditionally called enlightenment is
feeling cheated,
holding a grudge about who you are,
where you are,
what you are.

this is why we talk so much about making friends with ourselves, because, for some reason or other, we don't feel that kind of satisfaction in a full and complete way.

meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have.

our wisdom is all mixed up with what we call our neurosis.

our brilliance, our juiciness, our spiciness, is all mixed up with our craziness and our confusion, and therefore it doesn't do any good to try to get rid of our so-called negative aspects, because in that process we also get rid of our basic wonderfulness.

we can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we're doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are and what we're doing.

— pema chodron, from the wisdom of no escape

Friday, April 11, 2003


Lately, very beautiful situations have developed using chaos as part of the enlightened approach. There is chaos of all kinds developing all the time: psychological dis-order, social dis-order, metaphysical dis-order, what have you, constantly happening. If you are trying to stop those situations, you are looking for external means of liberating yourself, another answer. But if we are able to look into the basic situation, then chaos is the inspiration, confusion is the inspiration.

— Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Unpublished excerpt from the Opening Ceremony of the Karma Dzong Meditation Center, 1111 Pearl Street, Boulder, Colorado, 25 February

Thursday, April 10, 2003


damn, but [dw] is going off today. i've been either laughing or crying. sigh. meanwhile, timothy's got a new dog (gordon) and a new girlfriend (gin gin) who is not too sure about sharing a house with three dogs, a cat, and, well, timothy....

marya: wait, your dog's name is gordon and your girlfriend's name is gin gin?

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

it's the little things

someone brought chai latte powder to work. who is it? who ever it is, i love them.

amy g has reappeared on our little list. amy is this ultrasassy superhipster now turned whole-earth-mama (two little ones) who was an original member of [dw]. i met her one spring in new orleans, when my dad lived there. she is great in real life, too.

stephen: It feels good that the warm seems almost over, and some of the Iraqi people seem happy. I hope it truly all ends in a few days without a bio-hazardous incident!
marya: agreed, however, i myself am pro-warm. i've always liked the warm better than the cold. though i also do like the cool.
marya: clarification: i am pro-warm, but not pro-global-warming, but AM pro-global-heart-warming.
we can say we knew him when

"This ocean of information - combined with even more real-world data about the light levels on the set - was poured into the rendering program of choice at ESC: mental ray. (The German firm that created it won an Academy Award for technical achievement in March.) What emerged is real enough to fool Morpheus: effects that are mind-blowing precisely because they're transparent - a world that looks like the world." carsten is on this team and has a t-shirt to prove it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

weekends, birthdays, friends, and heroes

tom r turned a year older and a lot of friends turned out to celebrate. people came from santa cruz, bakersfield, santa barbara, and l.a. sushi was had, drinks were shared and tommy (not the birthday boy) busted out the caterpillar song. there was a hooka, there was living room dancing, there were flirty glances. i'm not naming names. i'm just statin' facts.

the next morning we all reconvened for a very leisurely bike ride downtown for breakfast-lunch (that's how long it lasted) at the art cafe. the following night i joined tom and stephen and rem for foghorn toast night at spike's. it was one of my favorite birthday weekend celebrations, i must say.


from the archives:

"And then I leave you with a little story....She knew her heart was enormously full of love and tenderness and at points it threatened to burst out of her body when she saw all the love and beauty in the world. But she wasn't afraid because she knew how to vent a little bit at a time to avoid the distinct possibility of her heart clawing its way out of her chest... I love you all very much." — Rebel.

man i miss that girl! she (and jeff?) will be here for live oak weekend. and all of the camp-smiley-face crew begin their little happy dance.


bean's brother-in-law is an anti-spam activist. in a nutshell, he has begun to publish the names and addresses and phone numbers of spammers. first there was a trial. and then there was a victory.

and while we're on the thought of bean, check out the feline visual poem. i lurve it.

Sunday, April 06, 2003


julia: so we took them to buck owen's crystal palace.
stephen: what's that?
marya: a meth lab?

Thursday, April 03, 2003

compassion among equals

Compassion is not a relationship between healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity. — Pema Chödrön

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

overheard and pieced together

i called a.m. on his cell phone. he's driving up to see a client.

am: whoa whoa!!
marya: was i talking to loud?
am: no. we just had an accident i need to call you back.

i hang up the phone and do a silent freak out.

b.r., is our resident soother -- meaning he's the guy to go to for calm reasoning in the face of whatever catastrophe falls. a few minutes after my phone call, b's phone rings.

br: uh huh uh huh
[pause while other person is speaking]
br:(calm soothing voice) is he alive?
br: well is he still in the chair?
br: well, it's okay, we'll just hire somebody else.

okay -- now i'm freaking out!!

but it turns out it was just b's wife calling to tell him about nick nolte's drunk interview with katie couric.

a.m. called a few minutes later to let us know that he and kc were a-okay. a multiple car pile up on the 101 (it's raining today). kc skid the car off the road, debris flying, but they are okay.