Wednesday, December 31, 2003

the daily distraction

i have really fallen for a site. learning to love you more is not a self-help site, not a relationship guide, unless your self-help is art-centered and your relationship is task based. it's a site to inspire you to action. not political action (though i guess it could be called political). but creative action.

the l.t.l.y.m people give out assignments. you fulfill them and load up your creations and then they display them. mostly on their web site, but they have museum installations as well.

expect more distractions from this site in the days that come. meanwhile, i'll start you at the sun.

» view the sun of other people

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

the daily distraction

persian blog-o-sphere: it's huge. i was surprised i wasn't hearing more about the iranian earthquake being compared to the california quake. while i know that the most important thing is to get aid to iran and maybe not squabble over the obvious reasons why one country experienced little damage (comparably) and another has been devestated, i myself can't seem to shake this need to compare.

so i thought maybe there were some persian bloggers out there doing the same. some persian bloggers? my god, it might be its own sub-culture. and while i didn't really see anyone talking about the comparisons, it was really easy to get sucked into these blogs. to read how passionately these people feel for their country, their countrymen, and their national treasures. as we all do, i'm sure. but when tragedy hits, hearts seem to sprint to the homeland.

so today's daily distraction is days of my california life, the blog of a persian girl living in orange county. she has links to other blogs that have links to other blogs and you can learn quite a bit in little bite-sized blog bits.

meanwhile, please donate money (one of these blogs recommends not going through red cross) to help iran.

» read a little now

Monday, December 29, 2003


The End of the Holidays

We drop you at O'Hare with your young husband,
two slim figures under paradoxical signs:
United and Departures. The season's perfect oxymoron.
Dawn is a rumor, the wind bites, but there are things
fathers still can do for daughters.
Off you go looking tired and New Wave
under the airport's aquarium lights,
with your Coleman cooler and new, long coat,
something to wear to the office and to parties
where down jackets are not de rigeur.
Last week winter bared its teeth.
I think of summer and how the veins in a leaf
come together and divide
come together and divide.
That's how it is with us now
as you fly west toward your thirties
I set my new cap at a nautical angle, shift
baggage I know I'll carry with me always
to a nether hatch where it can do only small harm,
haul up fresh sail and point my craft
toward the punctual sunrise.

— Mark Perlberg

the daily distraction

today's daily distraction... well, it's worth a look. i promise. trust me.

this post was inspired by kb's nanny who is famous for saying, "but how do you know him, dear," when asking kb about her famously bearded bf. i can't even remember how i found this site (i wasn't searching for it; i assure you). but found it i did and then i could.not.pull.myself.away.

extra points to the beard contestants for originality and creativity and communication skills. you gotta at least read the hall of famers and the hall of shamers.

» watch 'em grow

Sunday, December 28, 2003

unfair. what else can you say?

so, it is pretty sad these days with what happened in iran. myself, i'm just scrunching my brow and pursing my lips. how does life get to be so unfair. i, myself, just survived a 6.5 earthquake with no more troubles than 24-hours of extra nervousness and a few spots on the wall i need to paint over where some heavy bookends left little wall skidmarks. my family is fine. my friends are fine. shane's house suffered some real damage and he lost some possessions that were dear to him, but he is fine. my exbf and his mother were having breakfast only a block away from where the pan jewelers building crumbled, but they are okay. shaken up, but okay.

it feels like bragging to even say these things out loud. maybe i shouldn't write about it.

because what the people of iran are going through just ... are there words for this? sadness. devestation. confusion. fear (justified real fear). plus, on top of this all they are still experiencing the aftershocks.

life is unfair. not that i think we should have suffered more. but why do they have to suffer so much?

i'm not what sure you can do. we can do. donate money. pray. tonglen. open our hearts for the suffering that goes on around us. and thank our lucky stars. be humbly grateful. be graciously thankful. fully realize the grace that you have been fortunate enough to experience. knock wood that it may continue. and appreciate today. appreciate today. appreciate today.
uke site for bret

a coupla weeks ago bret got a ukelele and he is pretty darn stoked about it. and this christmas kb's gran graced him with a semi-permanent loan of her superkills uke (circa 1950s martin, so just nod your head in agreement). so, this link is for him — and you — if you like uk-in' it up.

» ukelelia

Saturday, December 27, 2003

down down down

christmas was great, but... i broke my computer. i know it's just a temporary glitch. i tried to put panther on my ibook. i dunno what happened. maybe i don't have enough ram left, but my computer will not reboot. GRRRR! (hey: maybe this is why it's called panther?) i should be up and running on my PC tomorrow (just have to get it set up online — great new computer — so much faster than my ibook). so anyway. that is why there are no updates since christmas.

if you are reading this, and if you are in san luis, have a lot of mac knowledge and a great big, huge, giving heart and want to help me — by all means! what are you waiting for? :)

xo to infinity!

oh and p.s. total girl movie extravaganza tonight. watching "the way we were" with kb — she's never seen it. all you boy's reading this, quit yer eye rolling. :) i watched ROTK twice this week. i'm owed a coupla chick flicks. ;)

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

i'm getting kittens

the kittens

marcus had kittens. well, his mamacat had kittens. marcus lives in texas, but that hasn't seemed to stop his distribution of kittens to the west coast. ceridwen (north of seattle) is getting the orange one (the rusty nail, as marcus calls him/her) and i'm getting two of the three siamese. whether i will keep both or if i will get one and kb will get one is to be determined. currently kb is keeping a mamacat of her own (for wyeth and trina as they continue their down under adventures), so both kitties will be with me initially. plus i heard that kittens need company. so it will be good for the little rugrats to have each other.

marcus is sending them out at eight weeks, which seems excessively young to me, but that is his plan.

possible names (depending on how they seem to fit the cats when we meet them — who knows more appropriate names may pop out) are paikea (for kb's), chapin, and pigeon. but you never know. this could be the birth of Wizard Two.

the great thing about the siamese is that they are only half siamese. full siamese are tricky creatures. sometimes skittish. sometimes high maintenance. and i need rugged mountain cats, ferocious toms, roaring tigers of siam, or a close proximity. rugged, ferocious, roaring lap kitties! viva la feline!

» marcus's kitten post
reflective christmas

mirror project christmas

one of the great thing about the mirror project is the search feature. you can search on your home town, favorite vacation spot, far away and exotic places. i did a quick search for this holiday and found about 300 christmas photos... some more christmassy than others. and there are a whole lotta ornament shots. but it's fun. so if you are toodling around the web today, catching your breath between familial obligations... here is your holiday distraction.

» view christmas at the mirror project

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

special report: at the castle!

says Mary M.:
i was at the castle, you see, because my brother and his wife and son are visiting from taiwan and that fair island being a little short on rich publisher's mediterranean estates, well, the appeal is great. at the beginning of the tour my sister and i (and some folks near us) could hear this weird, low rumbling sound. ah! eep. almost like a distant explosion. "no matter," we thought, and trudged on. we were just ending the tour, overlooking the tennis courts when the quake hit. at first i thought it was a giant wind coming up behind me because i was thrown forward and i could hear the trees swaying fiercely. then the palms bent forward and a few people screamed. yikes! and we still had to go through the indoor roman pool. needless to say, it was a very hurried jaunt through. as we were driving home (to santa margarita) highway 46 was quite altered. lots o' fissures. and no power when i got home. hmmm. so, that's that. el fin.

nicely done by mary (a different type of em), whom i've dubbed mary-sans-a. mary found me through glen starkey, who mentioned my penchance for musical evangilism in last week's new times (i was spreading the good word about the kings of leon). high five to starkey and greetings to mary-sans-a.

and a quick word about g.s.: we definitely share a similar musical taste. we may be the biggest promotors of the former-central-coast boy crooners (m. ward, little wings, bobby birdman, the graves). i feel justly confirmed in my love of the indie and the alt country. okay. carry on.

[on the phone]
mom: did you feel that one? it lasted several seconds
mar: no — wait! the trees are moving!
mom: but it's done now.
mar: oh. i guess it's just windy.

so my mom's been feeling all of the aftershocks, of which there have been hundreds (not all felt; some are larger than others). i haven't felt any. i think i fail the princess and the pea test. damn.

addendum. so my neighbor maggie just came out of her house and said, "did you feel that aftershock?" so it was the aftershock that was shaking those trees. and i made a mental note: no wind.

non-earthquake, part one million

[on email]
mar: as a child did your eyes take up half your face?
jdr: three-quarters,, half of whoever was near me.

jdr in new hampshire

non-earthquake, part one million and one

[email from scotland]
mar: there's no rush hour traffic here.
steve: Okay, busy traffic. Work traffic. Okay, some tractors and a bus.

he seemed to get quite a kick out of the paso robles building being called "historic." i clocked him upside the head for that one, as there were fatalities:

steve: I didn't say it wasn't dark humour, with a U.

mar: you brit types have to laugh at things like this because history is all you've got.
steve: We'll make do with just the history. You get history by living in a place that doesn't fall down.
the daily distraction

fellowship of the blog

one blog to rule them all. everybody and their brothers seem to be bloggin' these days. don't believe me? check out what i call the fellowship of the blog. who knew that while battling creepy, oozing dudes, aragorn, et al, would have time to jot down their most private thoughts. i guess this is what happens when you've got blog this.

meanwhile, check out their blogs. so honest. so insightful. so perfect for a tuesday.

» legolas's blog
» sam's blog
» aragorn's blog

* * * *

and just in case you missed it in the middle of yesterday's crazy day of earthshaking, make sure you watch gollum's hip rap video.

» preciouss iss my bling-bling
» read the lyrics

Monday, December 22, 2003

julia morgan super star

julia morgan & hearst castle

we all need a solemn moment to bow down at the feet of julia morgan, architect of hearst castle in san simeon.

as one of the only working female architects of her time (turn of 20th century), morgan was a favorite architect of the hearst family. mrs. hearst had her design and build a few structures at uc berkeley. so, when william randolf hearst began to build at san simeon, he chose morgan.

only several miles from today's 6.5 magnitude earthquake, there is no structural damage at the castle. buildings 20 miles away have crumbled like sand castles. the castle will re-open tomorrow (this is amazing).

morgan did all kinds of innovative things for the castle, like suspending the outside pool instead of having it sit in the ground. i have actually stood crouched underneath it.

i hope the news channels get smart and do a great in depth study on her!

» a snap shot of castle facts

half a block

before after

paso before and after. this is a real lesson in the need for reinforced masonry. after the loma prieta earthquake, all california counties had to shore up their buildings that were built before earthquake codes. if they didn't, those buildings had to have signs, warning people that they were in or near reinforced masonry. i'm not really all that sure that signs are serving any purpose though. tell it to the two women who were killed in today's earthquake.

last weekend dan, corinna, and i mosied on up to paso to spend the day with shane, who lives blocks away.
i feel the earth move under my feet

earthquake map for morning of 12/22/03

did you feel it? report it here:
» tell the usgs what you felt

more info on the quake:
» map of intensity
» tribune story
» where were you?
EARTHQUAKE! 11:16 AM, part I
rumble rumble

earthquake!! things fell from my shelves and bookcases. it seemed to last a long time (longer than a minute sounds like about 30 seconds? felt like much longer.). nothing broken at my home, but my heart is still beating pretty hard. i wonder where the epicenter was? i don't think we were near it... but maybe? i'm going to check out the news! san simeon epicenter!

later: news isn't on. heard that all communications down (how come i still have a connection?). fires. buildings down. slo not hit that hard (we are about 40 miles from epicenter) -- well -- who knows now? will wait to here more. my friends: it was a big one!
the daily distraction

the towers are the players

two turntables and an orc alone. just out: the latest gollum video. don't miss grand master supah smee as he takes the mic at the foot of mount doom. gollum is smeogal his kingdom is regal (prepare to be ear-wormed). the towahs are the playahs, y'all.

» preciouss iss my bling-bling
» read the lyrics

Friday, December 19, 2003

the daily distraction

some of the stuff-o-rama

especially for my outtastate (and outtasite) readers: people, check out stuff-o-rama. this is a very cool store, sitting pretty with insomniac video (great link to bookmark when you wanna rent a movie but can't think of what you want to watch). if you like retro, camp, or irreverent reveries, this is a store for you.

» do some shopping now

Thursday, December 18, 2003

the daily distraction

animal puppetry

wierd. fascinating. creepy. cool. check out the PuppetTool from make sure you don't miss the zoo. and when you visit, make sure you click on the animals while in motion. pull 'em to the ground. toss 'em in the air. spin 'em around.

» please harrass the animals

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

daily distraction, wednesday part II

what is your dj name? peops, it is time to join the youth of today, and if you know anything at all it is that each and every youth of today has their very own freaky-styly dj name. and now you can too.

Quiz Me
spins tunes as
DJ Swift Skater

Get your dj name @ Quiz Me

so emdot is miss dj swift skater. how did they know how did they know?! but i choose to spell it with a little extra sass. so that's missss dj swift skater to you pally. now get out there and shake your groove thing!
the daily distraction

animals with cameras

now this is reality tv: wild animals with cameras attached to their bodies. what is it like to be a wolf? an armadillo? an alligator? animal vegetable video is here to show you. the videos are short, but still intriguing. i wanna know how small cameras are these days, cuz they get one on a tarantula and one on a scorpion... how? and how do they attach? i guess i should read my own distractions to find out.

my favorite were in the desert (you can choose your locale): the tarantula and scorpion. but definitely you should check them all out. (shout out to bean: i was going to link to this, but only had the news article; bean had the real site.).

» follow your animal

fun emdot fact: my cousin aurelia has been stung/bitten by scorpions over eighty times. i swear to god. growing up in the arizona desert, scorpions were just a way of life for her. ouch. she just shrugs it off and laughs. she's tough man. tough! i did a fun road trip out to aurelia's home town last year. i love the desert.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

something's gotta give

diane and keanu

so my mom and i drove out to the bay theater last night to catch something's gotta give. i don't go to that theater very often, but it was the locale of many a high school date, or many a group-of-girls chick-flick watchings (officer and a gentleman, anyone? risky business?) anyway, this is not the point of this post. the point of this post is keanu reeves.

i've decided we've sold him short. as a nation of film snobs, we have turned our back. we have put reeves in his excellent-adventure box and shut the lid, bringing it out only to gloat over such missteps as dracula or much ado about a-whole-lotta-nothin'. or gagfests like sweet november (yee-uck). but c'mon keanu's been in some pretty good films: my own private idaho and parenthood, to name two. and i'm not even bringing up the matrix.

but when he won me over i think was last night in something's gotta give. now this is a fun movie, nothing earth shattering fabulous, but entertaining definitely and diane keaton is the woman we all hope to be at her age. thin. graceful. silly. so when keanu's character falls in love with her, well it didn't seem like such a stretch for me. and he was great and more than believable. his body language and the way he looked at her: lemme tell you: that is what we all want, someone to be into us like that. salon called it casual ardor. as a single girl, all i can say is bring it on. and he played it perfectly. and the scene where his face falls (in the paris restaurant) — seriously: great performance.

so from now on, i'm giving keanu a break. go see the movie for yourself and just try to think he sucks. i don't think you'll be very successful.
the daily distraction

the ultimate 80s quiz

how's your 80s trivia? i gotta say, i thought mine was supurb totally rad. i hit the 80s aged 13 to 23, a time when all that trivia seemed to mean something. i went to school at a time when you still picked out who your class spicolli was. so i thought i would have done better on this quiz; i really did. but i came up a very average 71%. i chalk that up to not being a youngster in the 80s, though: a lot of this trivia has to do with kids tv programs. so let's say you were 3 to 13 in the 80s? this might be your type of test.

» take the ultimate 80s quiz
the daily pause

brooklyn bridge

I would rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the man who sold it. — Will Rogers

We may argue eloquently that "honesty is the best policy." Unfortunately, the moment honesty is adopted for the sake of policy it mysteriously ceases to be honesty. — Dorothy L. Sayers

A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi to come back, but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you. — Marian Wright Edelman

» download a page full

Monday, December 15, 2003

currently listening to and listening to and listening to and listening to

rufus wainwright

my scottish ex can pretty much nab my musical tastes in less than three notes. his track record is quite exceptional. he turned me on to super furry animals. gomez. the kings of leon. and countless others. so, a few weeks ago when i got a mass email (and i've never seen him once do a mass email) telling all of us to run out and buy the new rufus wainwright i sat up and took notice. it took me a while to get my paws on it (so, despite paying attention, i didn't run out and buy... but still). it finally arrived on friday. and i haven't made it through the whole cd yet because i keep getting stuck on the first song. i love it. and so i play it. three times in a row. (okay, or seven). and then put it away for a little while. and then play it again. :) luckily for you, you can listen to it online.

and that said, i hope you like it and that i didn't build it up too high.

i love these lyrics:

why am i always traveling
and not in love
still i think i'm doing fine
oh wouldn't it be a lovely headline
life is
on the new york times
the daily distraction

etch yer sketch

now this is what the web was made for: etch-a-sketch. bookmark this page people! this would be a great one to have up in the background on your monitor, so while you are on a phone conference and your mouth is getting all dry and your brain keeps performing the first line of a really bad tv commercial jingle over and over and over and your eyes are so crossed that you are indeed worried that they will, once and for all, get stuck, you can instead hone your brain's power of attention to detail by doodling to your heart's content.

i'm sure some day some brainiac scientist will finally proclaim my heartfelt hunch that doodling is indeed a form of higher consciousness, an expression of astute intelligence and rampant, stampeding, prolific and groundbreaking creativity.

shouts out to jeff davis road on this one. jeff is like my satelite research team for the daily distractions. i'm lucky he doesn't keep up his own blog, cuz then no one would ever need to go to mine.

» etch yer sketch

added bonus

jdr and the dragon boats

jeff's in a crew club/team in DC. in october, he was invited to go to taipai for dragon boat racing and this subsite (which isn't finished, but still very fun to look at) gives you a snapshot as to what that was like.

an aside: why "jeff davis road"? when jeff and i first met, my dad was living in new orleans and his house was off of jeff davis road. being a west coast girl, i hadn't had much exposure to the south and its fixation with civil war players: it's not just flags folks. it's statues. it's parks. it's highways. jefferson davis, being the president of the confederacy, has a boulevard, an avenue, an expressway or at the very least, a simple road, in damn near every southern city on the map. but since our jeff davis hovers above the mason dixon, he may be the only jeff davis road the north will experience.

» jeff and the dragon boat races
me me me, i i i

with the pops
in irvine all last week. hit the jackpot bonanza and came back with a new tv, a new cell phone (flip and color; gotta love that), and a new computer. the only thing that should surprise you is that it is a pc. my first. naw, i'm not giving into the dark world of microsoft and boring-nothingness. i need it for development (let's face it, my 12-inch iBook is not the most conducive for wild productivity). so i'll take advantage of my talent of being OS-ambidextrous (ambidext-O.S.?) and have both boxes to work with. i have to spend a few extra minutes a day with the iBook, assuring it that it is still my numbah one. if anything, it takes back seat to the iPod, with which i am having a bonafide lub-affair.

i geek therefore i am
speekina, ran into parker at the gardner's christmas party (and while she deserves her own paragraph, lemme just say quickly how much i love mary gardner — she is super fab) who sheepishly asked if i was interested in selling my aeron (and hinting at the ipod). i of course had to respond with a pshaw! me and my aeron?! part?! are you nuts man??!! no way jose. so then we commenced on a fun conversation on the many wonderful qualities of herman miller (i actually have two of his chairs) and that segued into a rally cry for the ipod. what does that say about me, that i can have thirty-minute conversations about my possesions? (well, granted, we are talking about aerons and ipods, two of the cooler creations of our time). insert a capitalistic, overly marketed, highly engineered, form-follows-function, gimme-gimme-gimme self-resigned sigh (and can you hand me that catalog? thanks).

how does your gardner grow?
so the gardner's christmas party was fun, mellow and filled with cool people. i was obnoxiously late (see previous paragraph about each minute of the last coupla weeks being supersaturated), but still able to catch up with carrie and her little bundle of boydom: rainier, parker and his friend, as well as get a gardner homestead tour. they are so ... well... blessed for a lack of another word. cool couple, cool kids, bigass beautiful house, and plus they are just fun and interesting with fun and interesting friends. that basically equates to a blessed life in my book.

battering rams and catapults
saturday — and this may turn into the coolest tidbit on down the road — corrina and i ventured to santa barbara with dan, so he could meet and be interviewed by an interesting brit who is producing a BBC documentary on ancient war weaponry. (ancient weapons of mass destruction?) she is amassing three teams of craftsmans and experts to build three ancient weapons (two of which are a catapult and battering ram) in two weeks in morocco or tunisia. (i told you it was going to be a cool tidbit.) and dan is a mastercraftsman and super creative design guy anyway. specializing in post and beam work for the last ten years, dan can build anything. plus he has that diplomatic gift of being able to be a leader or a team player. all fingers are crossed and we hope to be receiving north african post cards in the spring. (and / or sending them myself. when we walked up with dan for his interview we were asked, "and who are you?" to which we responded, "his people." i think his peops should get to go along too.)

Friday, December 12, 2003

the daily distraction

pelican poetry

i'm not sure this can qualify as a bonafide daily distraction, as i have a perma-link to witold riedel's blog in several places on my site. however. freshly back from miami, witold, who lives in newyorkistan, has posted pelicans. and you must see them.

i hope he has a show of these. or turns them into posters. or something. the way he captured them... playful and respectful at the same time. he has them interspersed with journal entries... so keep scrolling on down the page.

» the pelicans and the pole

Thursday, December 11, 2003

the daily distraction

zen and the art of nothingness

a little bit of zis, a little bit of zat. zat was zen, zis is now. now is the time to take a step back from your rat race, your millionth lap around your hamster treadmill, your ADD mental ping pong match against yourself. boil some water. add in your favorite green tea. settle yourself. and take a little trip down the zen super highway.

» what is zen?

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

the daily distraction

the artist as a young picasso head

okay all ye great artists in the waiting, working behind yer day job desks: here is your time for fame, for fortune, for blowing 15 minutes: mr. picasso head.

» create your masterpiece now ... or ...
» thoughtfully careen through the existing gallery filled by your fellow mph arteeests

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

the daily distraction

s&thecity... in miami

reruns of sex & the city getting old and tiresome? catch the reruns you haven't seen before: sex & the city of miami. sometimes it is fun to visit old friends. :)

» sex & the city of miami

Monday, December 08, 2003

the daily distraction

Workers of the World Relax!

Alarm Clocks Kill Dreams

workers of the wold relax!

if either of these statements tug at your little heart strings, visit the work less party. i haven't read the page, but am completely, utterly, inextricably, enthusiastically, and gleefully in love with their slogans.

» the work less party

wish jar journal

and if admitting to yourself that you are more than your work, or if admitting to yourself that your job is devouring your life, or if admitting to yourself that your company is taking advantage of you by making you work countless overtime hours is more than you can muster/stomach/accept, maybe a little fun, illustrated blog reading is more up your alley?

» wish jar journal

Sunday, December 07, 2003

angels in america

god love hbo. i've really been looking forward to angels in america. it's weird when you totally anticipate something and have vague expectations but really nothing to base them on. that's how i was with angels. i never even heard of it until a year ago, during auditions for the laramie project. can i just chalk that up to being a country mouse?

i wish i would have seen it on stage. i love having that feeling of just seeing something spectacular and important.

according to salon, the tv show doesn't exactly stack up against the staged version. i'll believe them. and yet, i was really engrossed with mike nichols version. and the acting was really supurb. and i loved how my feelings for the characters changed as they got courage (specifically Joe). watching something like this really makes you want to be an actor. it is poetry really. and when someone can tap into something so tragic, so real, so human right when it's happening... tony kushner must have had his own angel whispering in his ear as he wrote.


is cowardice the most lowly of human weakness? do you think that cowardice/courage is what breaks/makes our lives?

the truth really does set you free. what are you so afraid of that you can't admit the truth? i know you've got something. and it is exactly this coupled with courage/cowardice that allows you to live your fullest life.

i don't get society's hang up with homosexuality. i mean. yeah. okay. i get it. but it's not even a ten commandment. it didn't even make top ten. but lying did. and we all lie. all of us. why aren't people walking around with righteous indignation about all of the liars in the world. and if they aren't, then they better get busy. cuz the way i see it, you can't get all huffy about homosexuality if you can't even get a little blustered about lying.

and while you are thinking of this, please start with yourself.

and i will too.

damn. i sound all preachy and shit.
a lot has been going on

so much so, that i haven't really had a chance to jot down a thought or two about them in the last month. just when you think things will be slowing down you notice that there's still no extra time in the day. or maybe it is that the time has become that much more appreciated and well used. i find myself thinking "i love my life" several times a day... and that thought hadn't been very prevalent for the last, oh, eighteen months. so that makes it even more appreciated.

jon jon
i heard that my favorite dog of all time has passed away. do you have a favorite pet? have you had a favorite die? i grew up with cats, not with dogs, so my love for this canine kind of caught me by surprise. but he was a great dog, and a great big one to boot. skimming just under 100 pounds, he had a presense. and an burgeoning eating disorder: he was definitely a binger and a sucker for following his nose (it always knows). jon jon lived a long life and had the good fortune and karma to have an owner that loved him deeply. his life was a good life. he will always be my favorite pooch.

tonight i did an on-the-whim audition for the vagina monologues. actual auditions were days ago; call backs today. i didn't even know they were auditioning until this morning when jenn (the b.n.e. = best neighbor ever) mentioned it over breakfast. so i got squeezed in and really have no idea how it went. they probably already had their cast picked. but it was fun to just go and do a cold read and get some more auditioning under my belt.

mardi gras
i've had the good fortune of being "invited to play" with (what i think is) the coolest krewe in the slo mardi gras: beleza sol. there was a meet-and-greet party on thursday and an actual meeting-meeting today; i am solidly stoked to be involved. the parade king and queen are in the krewe, which means our krewe is royal. what a great year to get involved! laissez les bons temps roulez.

prairie home companion
last weekend prairie home companion was broadcast live from san luis obispo. as a self-proclaimed public radio fanatic, i was excited like an eight-year-old girl on christmas morning. i love garrison kiellor: i think he is briliant and wonderful and i wish i knew him in real life. i wish i had his job. i wish i helped make his fabulous show. inga swearingen was one of the musical guests. i've mentioned her in my blog before and i am here to tell you: if you like female jazz vocalists, go buy inga's album. she is a rising star and one to watch.

i was completely overindulged and got to go to both shows. show one was the live broadcast. show two was three hours of stories and singalongs and more inga swearingen. i have finally turned into my mother. i'm pretty sure we all knew this would happen. luckily, i have a great one who just happened to be a sing-a-longing, public-radio-loving goofy punster. (that's called good karma).

dar & patty
the week before that i caught one of the last concerts for the female foursome of mary chapin carpenter, shawn colvin, dar williams and patty griffin. while i know a lot of mcc and sc fans, my favorites are dar and patty. i play a lot of their songs when i'm sitting alone, just me and my geetar. they are both amazing songwriters, but patty. man. patty can belt 'em out and the woman just rocks fair and square. and, since i wasn't that familiar with mcc and sc's music before the show, it was nice to get such a fine sampling of their music as well, plus see them interact with each other. shawn colvin is a real girl's girl and i mean that strictly in the best way. they all called mcc "chapin" and that is my currently favorite name these days. and if you know me well, you know i am a name freak.

other tidbits
playing music with bret these days. that is good as he is a very good guitar player and i pretty much suck. maybe that is selling myself short. i can get by enough to accompany myself, but you know it's bad when your playing bores yourself. so my fingers are crossed that i will improve. i love the songs that he's pulled out to play: dylan and johnny cash. great tunes. my contributions are steve earle and (hopefully) ben lee. and we are both throwing in a couple of our own. should be fun. i really want to perform. :: mercury's in retrograde (whoops; not yet. it goes retro on the 17th) — back up your computers people :: fun times with miss kb (she is the best) :: fun times with mom (also the best) :: been sick and i pledge my troth to sudafed :: and this morning i was highjacked by three girlies who swooped me up and took me to breakfast (la b.n.e., diana and the lovely miss heather visiting from santa cruz) and i ask you: what is better than a long leisurely meal and long leisurely rambly shambly meaty mirthy conversations?

Friday, December 05, 2003

the daily distraction

space is space

"The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL has put up a very interesting Java applet on their site. It begins as a view of the Milky Way Galaxy viewed from a distance of 10 million light years and then zooms in towards Earth in powers of ten of the distance. 10 million, to one million, to 100,000 light years and so on and then when it finally reaches a large oak tree leaf. But that is not all. It zooms into the leaf until it reaches the level of the quarks viewed at 100 altimeters." — sent in from Jeff Davis Road.

» get your power of 10 now

Thursday, December 04, 2003

the daily distraction

nature at birch lane

take a nature break through birchlane.

» visit gallery now
why do we blog? why do people have problems with it?

bean and sherry own winter

bean's blog today hit home. i blog for myself too. AND i find that i have a much happier diary to look back on, compared to my semi-morose and obsessive journals i've kept for years. my journals are just recurring theme upon recurring theme: waah waah waah. my blog i feel is more me. i guess my journals are more of a therapist.

blogging for yourself is what makes a blog a good blog: unselfconscious and authentic. plus, it's fun.

and i LOVE that bean blogs. i can't wait until rebel blogs (and we are slowly setting her up). they are two satelite pups i like to peek in on. same with carstereo, who doesn't blog as often or as juicy these days, but i like to check in on him: see what is making his mind churn and heart pump. isn't that what reading blogs is really about? plus, all three live far and away. it's good to have tastes of nyc, of boston. of berlin.

but for me, it's not voyeurism. it's just virtual conversations with drawings and links and verbal eye crinkles. viva la blog!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

the daily distraction: pulling faces

pulling faces

eric myer's gallery of portraits (aka, stereotypes) would be good enough on its own: interesting urban faces of different age groups and backgrounds. but myers adds a twist by encouraging you to mix and match, creating your own cross-gendered melting pot.

a few years back the science of attractiveness seemed to be making the rounds in the media. what makes us attractive? it concluded that balanced facial features coupled with a broad mix of racial influences makes the most attractive person. this site really allows you to explore that. so grab your beverage of choice and take a few minutes out of your day to explore: what is attractive to you? what is funny? what is ugly?

» view the gallery now

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

the daily distraction

cat gallery

portraits in coy-catness. there are only a few pictures in this little creatures gallery, but the perfectness of the portraiture coupled with the similarities of one of the models to Mama Cat makes it well worth the visit.

» dominic arkwright's creature gallery

Monday, December 01, 2003

from the latest sun magazine: an interview with Natalie Goldberg
Zeiger: some people seem to think you have to suffer in order to create.

Goldberg: No need to worry: you will suffer. Even if you're quite enlightened, your body will hurt, and you will die someday; you will leave the people you love. So we don't have to romanticize the suffering artist. The important thing is not to add to our suffering, not to pour gasoline on top and then light it. Writing comes from the essential suffering, not from the extra drama.

This reminds me of something Suzuki Roshi once said. He said that asking, "What am I doing with my life?" is like trying to put a horse on top of a horse and then ride it. It's hard enough to get on one horse and ride; it's impossible to ride two horses, one on top of the other. So just get on your horse, your human life, and ride; don't think about suffering, creativity, or imagination. Just pick up the pen and go.
dirty little secret

bad apple bad bad

well, i had heard about it, but finally tonight i clicked the link and heard the dirty little secret for myself. the ipod's battery only lasts about 18 months... and the only way to replace it is to send it in to apple and have them retrofit... for 250 smackers. shoot — double and triple shoot — as i just bought my ipod second hand via ebay when it was just about a year old. can i get a rzzl frzzl? the only silver lining might be that this grass roots campaign may inspire apple to create a more affordable alternative... and pronto.

» watch it for yourself
a living possibility

"It doesn't take doing anything or fixing or transforming. It merely takes the willingness to stop in your tracks where you are—full stop, all thoughts, all feelings-to see what's already here, what has always been here, what is untouched by everything. In that stopping, you realize the truth. And that's the beginning. Then your life becomes a living possibility for everyone who comes in contact with you." — Eli Jaxon-Bear
the daily distraction

all about you.

get the scoop on you. enter your birthday on the birthday calculator and get all the facts, and some interesting tidbits. thanks and shouts out to mscaprikell for this link.

» enter your birthday now

all about me.

You were born on a Monday under the astrological sign Virgo.
Your Life path number is 9.

The keys to the nature of a Life Path number 9 person are compassion, generosity, and a very humanitarian attitude. This is the lesson that must be learned in this life. Usually this number produces an individual that is very trustworthy and honorable, and one unlikely to harbor any sort of prejudice. Obviously, this is a rather tall order, but you are, in fact, a person that feels very deeply for individuals less fortunate than yourself, and if you are in a position to help, you certainly will. You tend to be quite sensitive, as you see the world with much feeling and compassion. The 9, being the highest of the single digit numbers, holds an elevated position and poses certain responsibilities. The purpose of life for those with a 9 life path is of a philosophical nature. Judges, spiritual leaders, healers and educators frequently have much 9 energy. Material gains are not overly important, although the quality of some life path 9 people is such that they are materially rewarded in very significant ways. Often, the number 9 life path requires a very selfless attitude and the giving up of material possessions for the common good. Even the very average of those with life path 9 possess extremely compassionate tendencies. The desire to help others, especially the troubled or underprivileged, is strong. You are apt to frequently find yourself being used and let down by others, as your generosity is misused and abused.

The number 9's very deep understanding of life is sometimes manifested in the artistic and literary fields. Here you may be able to express your deep emotional feelings through painting, writing, music, or other art forms. Often, however, there if a great deal of difficulty finding a suitable outlet for the 9 Life Path. The 9 is usually well suited to the helping and healing professions; the number is less inclined to the competitive business environment.

You have the ability to make friends very easily, as people are attracted to your magnetic, open personality. You have a special gift of understanding people, which if used correctly can be of great benefit to others. Your interest in people tends to make you quite social. People just naturally like you because you are so sympathetic, tolerant and broad-minded. In many ways, you are a romantic that can get lost in your loves and passions. Relationships can be difficult for you, however, because it is hard to strike a balance that will work effectively. If your partner is one sharing your giving attitudes, the relationship will be happy and lasting. On the other hand, if you choose a partner whose focus is on material issues, problems will arise quickly.

As do all the life path numbers, the 9 has its negative side, and because of the demanding nature of the truly positive 9, many tend to fail in this category. It is not uncommon for persons with the 9 life path to fight the realities and challenges of purpose imposed here because selflessness is not an easy trait. You may have difficulty believing that giving and a lack of personal ambition can be satisfying. It must be realized and accepted that little long-term satisfaction and happiness is to be gained by rejecting the natural humanitarian inclinations of this path.

» more information on life path numbers