Friday, November 28, 2003

the daily distraction

my friend pat lives in oslo, norway. why is it that the most interesting people become expatriots? pat always has interesting stories and viewpoints and tidbits and the best handsdown pictures of animals. her black-and-white friend sharky was my emdog coverboy for about a year, and you can still see him in old navs.

meanwhile, pat sent a link to some beautiful pictures of norway. so grab your coffee and take a nordic break. there are three galleries of black-and-whites, but the color ones will definitely get you in the wintertime mood.

» get yer nord on

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

the daily distraction

specifically for my sister who had to work today, and doesn't work in a tech office, so she doesn't get exposed to all the funny little tech silly things we all take for granted, two things that have made the rounds this year: star wars kid and the meatrix. becca — hope you like them and i hope you get to go home early. hearts.

click for the meatrix click for the star wars kid

even better, bec, are the swk clones. click a few. xoxo.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003


fred: she was hypnotising. she had one blue eye and one green eye.
dan: you call that hypnotising? i call that australian shephard.

fred: she's not married? that's a crime!
mar: why aren't you married?
fred: cuz i'm weird.

really fun dinner party last night (minus the big argument on the los osos sewer that somehow spiraled into sewer land in and of itself — sorry guys) with old friends. chen was in from out of town. dinner at dan's. we were at the dinner table until midnight and then fanned out for late late talks until 2:00. great to see everyone.

regarding the los osos sewer... i will take the blame for that disaster of a discussion. i think it was just late. and there were a few glasses of wine. what a weird conversation.
the daily distraction

deliverance, in a nut shell

what's more fun than a barrel full of monkeys? squirrels playing banjos? i think so too.

» git yer banjo on

Monday, November 24, 2003

the daily distraction

snowflake dies

what an amazingly beautiful animal. over forty, snowflake was the only known albino gorilla. he fathered over twenty children. he had skin cancer. he died this morning.

» yahoo gallery of snowflake

solar eclipse

also today, a total solar eclipse. there are some spectacular photos of this on the yahoo site as well, taken from the japanese antarctic station.

» solar eclipse antarctic photos

what does a solar eclipse mean astrologically?

solar eclipses always happen on new moons and usually mark a time for change.

» more about eclipses and astrology

satellite burns

interesting satellite pictures of the southern california fires. i linked
saturday (october 25) through friday (october 31). and then there is a
picture taken last tuesday that shows the burn aftermath.

:: saturday :: sunday :: monday :: tuesday :: wednesday :: friday :: burn scars from november ::

» or check out today's images

Friday, November 21, 2003

welcome rainier!!

baby rainier

little rainier was born very healthy and very beautiful this morning right before eight. he snuck in as a baby scorpio with lots of galloping sagitarian chutzpah to lead him on to the fab life he is meant to live. kb and i caught carrie just waking up from some much needed r&r. she looks great! and ohmigod. this kid. cute cute cute. must.not.nibble.toes.

mother and child carrie, rainier, and kristin

kb hold el bambino gather up, your aunts want pictures! mar, cb, rg
the daily distraction: hoarfrost
aka "let's pretend it's winter time"

i'd never even heard of it before, hoarfrost. sounds like something that might require antibiotics and a board certified medical technician. but my friend kate awoke to a landscape of it a couple of days ago and it sounds (corn alert) jawdropping. pinch worthy. may make you believe in pixies. or elves that make christmas presents.

kate's hoarfrost picture
picture from kate in saskatchewan

(this section is for the coastal californians who think winter equals putting a sweater on when you are at the beach and/or having five days of rain) it happens when the air above ground is so cold (and foggy? at same time?) it can't hold any water vapor. it attaches itself to things of small diameters (tree branches, leaves, clothespins) and transforms from vapor to solid, completely sidestepping the prerequisite liquid state (this is called sublimation).

and so today, for your daily distraction, i bring you a gallery of hoarfrost photos.

hoarfrost hoarfrost hoarfrost hoarfrost

click on the thumbnails to see the beautiful larger images

hoarfrost hoarfrost hoarfrost hoarfrost

» more hoarfrost words and photos

Thursday, November 20, 2003

the future child

my friend carrie just went into labor. just got the call. within the same moments got a link to a poet who performs with the sacred slam in nyc. today i do not believe in coincidences. so i am putting the poem here...

A Wary Invitation to my Future Child
by Ethan Nichtern

1. The Disclaimer
Let me just say I’m not expecting you for a while
Except by tragedy of bubble-burst latex
you won’t come wailing anytime soon
So if all goes according to the Plan
according to Which nothing ever goes
you should be slowly wrapping things up in your last life right now
taking long walks and talking nonsense to strangers and drooling a little bit
trying to untie mental knots
making temporary peace with those apparent contradictions
getting affairs in order
just so that others may grieve what I welcome
Maybe you’re a satin-clad Goddess who rides a long-tusked elephant
or maybe you just got world peace declared on the Planet Zolton
or maybe you’re that eccentric horseshoe crab misunderstood by all the other horseshoe crabs whose genius as a horseshoe crab will only be recognized long after a lonely death in a lonely horseshoe shell
I hope you’re not a consultant

2. The Fine Print
aggression still tantalizes us
(I’m sorry)
attachment’s like a bungee cord
(I’m sorry)
ignorance emits a steady hum
(I’m sorry)
Your father’s a crazy buddhist
(I’m sorry)
kids don’t get to make any decisions
(I’m sorry)
parents argue over money and then slam doors shut
(I’m sorry)
adults make three lists: one short list called “Friends,” one long list called “Enemies,” and one really long list called “Who Cares?”
(I’m sorry)
Old people scream “I wish I could have done more!” which nobody understands because their words are slurred by strokes and tears.
(I’m sorry)

If two people look each other in the eye it’s usually by accident
(I’m sorry)
When people dance they get embarrassed
(I’m sorry)
When people speak they get self-conscious
(I’m sorry)
When people smile they feel guilty
(I’m sorry)

We have this little thing called propaganda
(I’m sorry)
We have this big thing called poverty
(I’m sorry)
We have these huge things called armies
(I’m sorry)
There’s no escape from your own mind--believe me I already tried Everything
(I’m really really sorry)

You will become what you hate--it’s inevitable
The only way I’ve found to deal with this is to expand the scope of what you love
But this isn’t about wishful thinking
It’s about courage and training
(That’s the one thing I won’t apologize for)

3. The Invitation
Where you are now do they have cartoons?
Where you are now do they examine their experience in detail?
Where you are now do they have paintings where the oil leaves a 3D trail across the canvas?
Where you are now did they reinvent the wheel a thousand times?
Where you are now are there kaleidoscopic cities?
Where you are now are your fingers mesmerized by the grey texture of the mortar which holds a brick wall together?
Where you are now do they have Bob Dylan?
Where you are now do genitals interlock so perfectly and then separate like defective velcro?
Where you are now does your body come with two of everything just in case?
Where you are now do all your teachers sneak up into the crawl-space between thoughts and haunt you?
Where you are now do friends sit crosslegged in a circle playing conga drums until a half-hour past a cloudy dawn at which point they all get up together and cook Eggs Overtired with salsa and say as a matter-of-fact in between yawns and mouthfuls: “let’s save the world!”?

4. PostScript
At the bottom of a huge pile in a soon-to-be-sold house in Arkansas is a picture of a grandfather who dies of a fourth heart attack just as his grandson reaches the ripe old age of negative 1 (Earth years). He holds a baby girl and he looks just like me. Or I should say that I look just like him, that is, if we want to be polite and pretend that a circle is a line.


while writing an email wrestling with "what is this bigger picture" and "please trust we can get there" and "yet be intensely and wildly and fabulously wealthy while doing so", i closed my open windows on my computer and the one left open was inexplicably opened to...
When poverty leads you to practice the Dharma
it makes you more rich than
any king or tycoon.
Without the false lure of a lot of possessions
to lead you on an endless wild goose chase,
you can find the lost vault of your own naked awareness.
So reconsider your misfortune.
Your poverty can be the golden key
to the natural supreme fortune of fortunes.
i love reminders.
the daily pause

"The seven social sins are politics without principle, wealth without work, commerce without morality, pleasure without conscience, education without character, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice."

— Mohandas Gandhi
the daily distraction

fred flare

more shopping for you christmas shoppers. check out the goods at fred flare. for the mod squad in you.

» visit fred flare pronto

emdot: what time is dinner?
mom: people are coming over at 5:00. that doesn't mean we will eat right at 5:00.
emdot: so probably 5:07? 5:09?
mom: no earlier.
emdot: 4:45?
mom: well you can have the leftovers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

small poem

what if pollacks dog had just said
jesus christ jack
give it up
what the fuck
do you think you are doing

— miles parker

a little bit of this
a little bit of that

a room with a leafy view

more proof that california has seasons. i love this little view from my upstairs window. i also love the little yappy dog rosie that lives in this yard. yap yap yap. wag wag wag. rosie just forgets the difference between a yap and a wag.

yesterday was amazingly beautiful and probably hovering around 75 degrees. what is more perfect than that. long shadows begin creeping across streets and sidewalks around 1pm. so early. they are impatient shadows.

yesterday was so much fun. lunch with family. shopping with my mom. dinner with kb and bret. and then spontaneous band and people watching at linnaea's. at linnaea's we somehow got the best seats in the house (or courtyard) as the show was outside under the twinkly lights and leafy wisteria. i think our dear friend j.j. set us up more than nicely with the cozy seats in the back with the unobscured and sheltered view of norfolk & western and pasche's new band (i don't know what they are called. rzzl.).

halloween was a long time ago, but i still love this picture. so harmless and creepy at the same time. for instance, what happened to kristin's face? at this point i was still a witch doctor. within an hour i would transform into a pirate. pirates have more manageable hats than witches. and that counts when there is a dance floor. and/or cobwebs.

fuzzy halloween pic
the daily distraction

south pole south pole south pole south pole south pole

antarctica 2003. view what living in antarctica is like in the middle of november. there is a blog, but it's in german. never fear there are pictures a-plenty and a couple pages in english (like explaining what in the hell someone would be doing in the south pole in the middle of november — though could be worse: could be in the middle of february). sit back, warm your toes and check out life in the ultimate down under.

» a few days in an anarctic life

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

the daily distraction

colette colette colette

what with it being that time of year and all, i bring you some shopping distractions (thank you stacia). this week i'll have a couple shopping ports-o-call for you people getting ready to present presents to those you love dearly. even if that includes many presents for yourself as well (or is that just how i go about things?).

today i send you to france to stop in at collette. lots of fun mod things to pick up for around the house and under the christmas three. browse around, clicking hither and thither, or check out the product list for the more straightforward approach.

» browse the collette windows

Monday, November 17, 2003

the daily distraction, part 1

i am le tired chinese sauna rusky wtf?

it's the end of the world as we know it and i feel le tired. a little "end of the world" flash animation to distract you today. who made this (more of a statement than a question). sillies.

» watch the flash

daily distraction, part 2

a secret source secretly told me about this little piece of covert propaganda. please remember to share rides and bring bagels. your job might depend on it. and one more thing... no. cannot say it. it makes me look bitter. but okay. really. what about lying? why do people lie in the workplace? how do people sleep at night? that is the big question and if you are not sleeping at night, could you please do yourself, your family and the world a huge favor and take a look at that?

» yesterday's dilbert

Friday, November 14, 2003

seasons do exist in california
and i have proof

woodencracker who has been the slackiest of the slacksydaisies when it comes to updating Ye Ol' Bloggerooni has finally done so and it is full of Cal-i-for-ni-ay Autumn colors! yeehaw.

today was a surprisingly fun day. i woke up without any real agenda or happenings. me, kb, and daniel-j had breakfast at linnaea's (or lin-nay-nay as kb calls it) (they have the best latte in town i swear to god). lunch with my sister who's got a new job right downtown in the coolest of cool buildings (added bonus: running into a really handsome man whose office is in the same building and my little heart kind of jumped talking to him; i love those little chance encounters). and then the pleasure of driving d-j to santa barbara so's he could catch his plane to montana where he will be building a deck for his brother. kb's outta town too... what to do with myself... new book just picked up. so between that and other little spontaneous weekend goodies, it should be a fun one.

it started to rain on my drive home. big drops of rain. love it.

last night

yesterday was chalk full too. it was all good, but it ended on a high note as we saw patty griffin, dar williams, mary chapin carpenter, and shawn colvin in concert at the pac. it was great. patty rocks. they were all good, but patty takes your breath away and makes your foot tap: a great combination.

emdot: and we'll wear white go-go boots... and white fishnets... and—
dan: this is the christmas parade not! a family affair! we don't need any "ho" "ho" "ho"s.

christmas parade is december 5. bike happening will be there in full fun bike git-up regalia. come and join if you want. $10 (i think). meet at the mission at 5:30 (i think). decorate your bike all fancy. and yourself too. i'm thinking about being a christmas angel in go-go boots.
the daily distraction
learn to love people

You have to cut your own impatience and learn to love people. That is how
to cultivate basic healthiness in others. — Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

how many people will read this and think "yeah, right, i already do that... next." but do you really? do you cut people slack? do you give people the benefit of the doubt? can you love the people who don't love or even like you back?

i know this is Being Human 101 and all, but i think this is something that we should check ourselves on constantly.

and now for fun...

» apple employee fired for thinking different

Thursday, November 13, 2003

the daily distraction

i recently wrote that i had every bit of the world's trivia stuck in my head. i've since been proved wrong by ben schott, author of schott's miscellanies (a book i probably need). there are excerpts, so you can flip through and learn more than you thought you needed to know right there at your desk.

» get your miscellanies now

» more on ben schott
schott is also a formidable photographer

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

a little piece of truth

i really love this poem — and it is the truth. and maybe you aren't a buddhist — it doesn't matter because these things can be true for all people, all faiths and all-non-faiths. whatever comes into your life to WAKE YOU UP and exhault in your LIFE and all of the wonderful, magical, miracles that surround you EACH AND EVERY DAY — let these things permeate your soul to the point where it is difficult if not impossible to shout hallelujah to your surroundings, to the sky which may be gray and bulging heavy with water or blue and carressed with light clouds. or the light post that stands duty in your parking lot. or that hawk that adds grace and wonder over the field as you drive to work. or the amazing people you have the luck and grace to know in your every day life. there is so much all around us at this very moment. go right up to it and wrap your arms around it tight and thank your lucky stars.

Six Ways to Reconsider Your Misfortune

When illness leads you to practice the Dharma
it makes you more healthy than
any Olympian champion.
Necessarily alone, without distraction, you can see
this unbearable body is really a prize-winning dream,
as first-rate as any illusion can be.
So reconsider your misfortune.
Your illness can be the unbeatable muscle
that wins you the fortune of fortunes.

When poverty leads you to practice the Dharma
it makes you more rich than
any king or tycoon.
Without the false lure of a lot of possessions
to lead you on an endless wild goose chase,
you can find the lost vault of your own naked awareness.
So reconsider your misfortune.
Your poverty can be the golden key
to the natural supreme fortune of fortunes.

When grief leads you to practice the Dharma
it brings you more bliss than
any goddess or god can.
Roused to the melting-down climax of tears
you can swim in the natural flow of great bliss
with no effort at all.
So reconsider your misfortune.
Your grief can be the lover's touch
that turns you on to the equality of pain and pleasure.

When trouble leads you to practice the Dharma
it brings you more peace than
any opium or pardon.
Looking elsewhere for peace you can walk a long road
and not get to the end for a lifetime of lifetimes.
Looking right at the nature of trouble, you're already there.
So reconsider your misfortune.
Is it easier to polish a million mirrors, or shatter one,
to see through an illusion and relax?

When old age leads you to practice the Dharma
you turn out far younger than
a child newly born.
A body acquired in confusion
is old before it ever emerges, while a wisdom body,
never emerging, never ages at all.
So reconsider your misfortune.
Your wrinkles and your hair that fades and this and that that sadly sag
are simply unwrapping the gift of miraculous freedom from birth.

When death leads you to practice the Dharma
you turn out alive in a world of misfortune
again and again.
Having reconsidered misfortune, however,
the prospect of endless rebirth is delightful.
So many beings! So much reconsideration to be done!
So reconsider your misfortune.
It can shine through self-concern like the sunlight through clouds, or dawn through dark.
Happiness, emptiness, no longer two, what a bloody miracle!

— Jim Lindsey
9 November 2003

on why i love mark morford, part IV
The bottom line is, we are killing ourselves with fat. And chemicals. And hormones. And gluttony. The cultural complexion is shifting, radically. The statistics are overwhelming and irrefutable and sad — over 50 percent of adults overweight, over 30 percent obese, huge increases in fat children, cancer rates escalating, diabetes skyrocketing, ligament problems and organ failure and tumors and heart disease and impotence and infertility and bad hair and a thousand other related ailments, all coupled with a massive wave of Prozac-slammed anxiety and depression like a never-ending sitcom in hell.

» read the whole article (terror is a triple-meat pizza)
the daily distraction
make a snowflake

are you too shy to rip a page out of that eye-crossingly boring white paper, folding it up, cutting away strategic portions and then slowly uncreasing it to see what little bit of winter wonderland kindergarten goodness and happiness you have just brought into your office life?

are you too scared to take the first page of notes you just took in that coma-inducing meeting, silently corrugating it into a little pie shape and scissor-snipping it into a beautiful, delicate one-of-a-kind snowflake?

are you so surrounded by people, completely lacking in privacy, that you would certainly be spotted if you took that questionnaire asking if you want chicken or salmon at the holiday party, silently origami-ing it up and taking some carefully calculated scissor-samurai swipes at it, in order to unfold and discover a little winter one-of-a-kind art expression?

then do i have the site for you!

» make your own flash snowflake

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

the book i want

somehow, through the gentle and light-hearted hands of serendipity, i just stumbled across an article of Yann Martel explaining how he wrote Life of Pi. this article moved me very much, because it is about three things i need right now: influence / inspiration / hard work. but more than that, i need a sense of the divine. and, as a buddhist, i am struggling with that: the magical, beautiful unexplainables that make up our world. yet, stumbling upon this article... and serendipity in general... aren't these clues, like little bits of divine dna?

powell's has a whole book of authors discussing how it was that their books came to be. i want this book.

meanwhile, life of pi. i keep this book at a distance. i don't know what to think of it. the way it was written appealled to me. the way that i was tricked in the end... it made me wonder... was i a foolish reader? am i that gullible? or how could the author be so crafty and tricky. and most of my friends didn't like it. some put it down immediately. one said it lost her in the preface. but it was the preface that grabbed me. it was the preface that made me keep reading.

(i think i need the courage of my convictions.)

it has been a movie marathon. friday: love actually. yesterday: elf. today: the station agent.

timo: i'm not good with context.
emdot: you're all out of context?
timo: exactly.

emdot: t. s. mcclellan, i like it.
timo: too bad my last name's not eliot.
emdot: why, so people would confuse you with a dead guy?
timo: i guess it's better than being mistaken for ulysses s. grant.
emdot: especially since you live in the south.
the daily distraction

today's daily distraction comes to you from every month they post a new trips section: five galleries from around the world. each month five different places, though i've noticed that some of these countries come up repeatedly. this month you get cuba and you get canada. click to see the rest.

» clandestina : trips : 17

Monday, November 10, 2003

weekends. always good.

so it was a nice weekend. but mellow. but good. there was a party and it was fun: good music and it was the first party i've been to in, i don't know... five years?... where i didn't know anyone (besides the person i went with and the person who invited me). this says more about me hanging out in an insular group, rather than me knowing a million people. okay. i kind of know a million people. still. it was fun to people watch and listen to the bands. i met a dog named "Little" and that is a pretty funny name for a dog.

saw love actually. this i liked, but it also moved a little frenetically. wished they got into some of the stories a bit more. some of the stories were worthy of a movie in and of themselves. but it was good to laugh for two hours straight. next up: elf.

i am thinking about moving to seattle.

we'll see if this passes or grows. right now i'm inspired. BUT going for a walk this morning in san luis was pretty appetizing. this would be an amazingly tough place to leave.
the daily distraction

photo by catherine jamieson photo by catherine jamieson photo by catherine jamieson

november photos from catherine jamieson. if you've got a little more time, browse her older galleries or read her strories. relish in a woman who has the courage of her convictions.

» view photos now

Saturday, November 08, 2003

suburban blues

read the article by anne taylor fleming (brought to me by one djk -- thanks)

Friday, November 07, 2003

the daily distraction

today's daily distraction is crafted specifically for kristin, who is putting in long hours and countless days. the last few movies we've gone to see together have been bloody and violent. if you know kristin you know that this is not her style. so, for her today, i have four five light-hearted, giggle-in-yer-seat movie trailers to watch at the desk. little pieces of two-minute goodnesses that can transport you away to a place where things are relaxed and carefree.

any cynics out there who think this is corny: get over yourself. and watch them, too.

» the station agent
» along came polly
» elf
» the singing detective
» eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

bonus distraction: a little browser shopping?
» sonoma earthworks
the emdot challenge
26 things: november

last july (you might remember, plus i link to it over there [motions to the right-hand column]) i did "26 things," an international photographic scavegner hunt. it was really fun and the sh1ft folks are bringing you 26 things reloaded. or revolutions. or you get it.

here is the deal:

  1. go to the site and see the newest list of 26 things

  2. print it out

  3. get your digital camera

  4. start looking for the things on your list

on december first you can submit your page of 26. you can take a look at the layout/style/attack some took in july for ideas.

i'd love to see your 26 things. post them. share them. let us see into the way you see things.

(okay, and here, because i love this list, here are the november 26 things: high point, familiar, too much, 2PM, the end, layered, three, contemplation, warning, electric, sharp, red, reflection, movement, soft, cold, close up, new old, team, oversized, intimidating, culture, energy, famous, community, shadows)

Thursday, November 06, 2003

oh man oh man.
little postal goodie excitement — a nyc carepackage.

picture: clear plastic envelope — cellophane carrier for little goodness. picture: leaves, real leaves from the east coast fall-fest. picture: all tucked away and cut out perfectly with a punctuation of purple flowers. picture: green origami crane (now sits on kitchen sink sill to observe all dishwashing duties). picture: hard copy of the onion for over-coffee chuckling. picture: funny guitar post card with the message (i'll paraphrase) go! go! go! and we believe in you.

it was like a mainline shot of adreneline jumpstart and loving hug encouragement. sigh.

little sender of the good thoughts: i send you crinkly eyed thanks and skips in the parks. I BELIEVE TOO!

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

daily distraction
current desktop from "zibbo" on fotolog