Friday, December 31, 2004
I found this photo via Heather Champ (the wonderful and the inspirational) (I especially liked her fuck off 2004 goodbye letter). From this photo I found the blog. From the blog I found the soundtrack. From the album I found this song and it really made me happy.
My pledge: next November I'm doing NaSoAlMo, too.
Hot damn that song got me all fired up.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Monday, December 27, 2004
I've decided to try to teach myself Swedish. I type this with one eye squinted shut, because trying to teach yourself a language is tough enough on its own. Trying to teach yourself a language that you never hear... now that's a challenge.
But I've got some help on my side. Sweet and terrific Swedish friends on Flickr. A package from Sweden that included Swedish being read aloud, a Swedish language CD, and some bands singing in Swedish (tack så mycket, Anders). And Swedish language tapes with books from my mom.
With all that you might think that learning it wouldn't be so tough. And you would be right if I wasn't talking about Swedish. Their grammar? Wacky. Their sounds? Wackier. Their vowels? Their vowels spilleth over. Vowels everywhere. They are vowel crazy. And these are vowels, believe me, that you have never heard before. Unless, of course, you live in Sweden.
The SE Asia earthquake and tsunami coverage in the US has been frustrating (as is ALL US coverage in things that are happening in other countries; why can't I get BBC news?!). Finally blogs are stepping in to give first-hand reports. Yesterday morning when I first heard the news, I immediately got on Flickr. One of my contacts, JavaJive aka Brandon lives in Indonesia and has been posting incredible photos of South East Asia. I knew I could get to his blog via his flickr profile, and there was a post already up. He was in Jakarta, so was safe, but has friends on a diving trip in Phuket. I can't imagine the worry. (And Jan Setser: wherever you are in Burma/Myanmar... all my prayers are with you). I don't know where Jan is... close to the beach? Higher ground? I just don't know. I'm not going to worry... no need as it is very likely she is on higher ground. But still.
Meanwhile, here are a list of blogs that are describing their experiences.
» World Changing (contributors from India)
» ChiensSansFrontiers (group blog effort)
» Tsunami Help (group blog effort)
» 2Bangkok.com (Thai)
» more links from boing boing
Saturday, December 25, 2004
I blog the pic to the right because number one, I love the festiveness of it and number two, it features JOOP! One of my favorite Flickr dogs. Joop is a star and never fails to bring a smile to my face. I dig Joop. And his owners (who I believe maybe live in Germany? Holland? I forget!) are full of adventurous outdoor photos. They seemed to have travelled many different places. May this photo put a little smile on your face.
Time was... man, two years ago I worked all by myself -- for nine hours! -- at WA on Christmas Day because the person who was supposed to QA about 40 pages of web catalog did a terrible job. Terrible! And the work had to be done. And there was no one else to do it. So, I had to come in and do the work all by myself and you know, there were more than a few tears shed that day.
I remember the day before, on Christmas Eve, I think I worked until 8:00 that night. Again -- we were short many hands and there was one set of hands that was especially incompetant and so I had to double and triple check everything and redo things myself and everyone was so overworked by that point I didn't feel like I could ask anyone else to come in and do the work, or stay late and do the work. So Martyr Marya, I did it myself.
I remember Mary G. coming to my desk that Christmas Eve with a CD of Christmas songs and she offered it to me as a little present and I could barely thank her with little tears streaming down my cheeks. I was so frustrated. So sad. So pissed. So -- helpless. It was all on my shoulders and I didn't know what I was going to do.
So I worked. And believe me when I tell you: I could not see the light at the end of that tunnel. It was dark. It was bleak. It was black.
A year later I would have one of the most relaxing Christmasses of my life. Who knew?!
And a year after that -- this Christmas -- life feels scary because it is looming, juicy, brimming, expanding with so much opportunity. Will I be brave enough to reach for it or will I be bowled over by the unknowingness of it all? I hope I am brave enough! Right now I feel ready.
I hope this Christmas finds you happy, too. And brimming with newness. And if not newness, how about some deep relaxation? Some heavy sighs of happiness? A full belly? Maybe just whatever it is that your heart is calling for.
Friday, December 24, 2004
I LOVE knowing that from now until the next six months the days will only get longer and longer -- I love upswings! And then we'll have three more months of long-day-ness after that. :)
number one, i think the key to christmas happiness is to scale your christmas shopping way back. imagine in your head buying fewer and smaller gifts. now, imagine even fewer and smaller. i swear to you: it actually makes christmas more meaningful. for me. :) i hate christmas stress and excess. it's amazing how scaling it back can let the specialness of the season shine more brightly.
number two, i can't remember the last time i was so excited for a new year. new beginning. new start. fresh. freshness. start again. in the first time in forever i actually have a formidable list of resolutions -- which aren't resolutions so much as flat out goals and steps towards those ever elusive hopes and dreams. really looking forward to this.
number three, rooibus yum yum. oh whoops. already mentioned that the other day.
number four, amy march! and it's still cracking me up.
number five, which is fem in swedish and my lucky number in no matter what language, tomorrow should be an unbelievably gorgeous day. since my sister and her husband will be in the valley until the afternoon, my mom and i are going for a looooong hike in montana de oro first thing in the morning. this has become something of a christmas tradition with us and i love it.
My mom and I did a little last-minute Christmas shopping today. And now I don't even remember how it came out but my mom, flabberghasted with me for some reason or another -- but not real flabberghast, more like... adoringly annoyed -- tells me: do you know who you are like? You are just like Amy March!
(For those of you who don't know, Amy March was the youngest sister in the book Little Women... often seen as the more selfish or self-centered of the March sisters... but very loveable and sweet.)
And I loved the comparison. Because I have long thought that I identified a little too closely with Amy March. To be honest... I'm not Amy March because I can't do the whole "proper" thing (that is where I am more like Jo).... But I long admired Amy because she was the one who got to be the artist, got to travel, got to see the world, and got the guy in the end. It was only Jo's stupid stubbornness that kept her from realizing her dreams. Amy wasn't stubborn at all (and neither am I) and was more able to see the ways of the world, and working those in order to get her dreams fulfilled.
Maybe we should all be more like Amy March.
running into daves
Tuesday afternoon I was walking to Big Sky with KB when I saw a guy in front of us and I thought for sure it was Dave D. I haven't seen Dave D. in well over a year and hadn't thought of him in a bit (though always have nice thoughts -- Dave is one of the coolest bosses I've ever had). As the guy got closer I could see it wasn't Dave.
THEN... just ten minutes later I did indeed run into Dave D. at Big Sky. Weird, right?
Today, running errands with my mom another Dave popped into my head: Dave B. And I thought of him and his girlfriend and how great it was to hang out with them last summer and that I should definitely give them a call very soon to do something -- hadn't heard from him or seen him since last August.
Mom and I run into the store to get something and who is there but Dave B. !! How weird is that?
I'm sure I should think these posts out more before I post them, but I got an itchy trigger/publish finger.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Today was Day in the Life at Flickr.... Fun to do and fun to see everyone else's pics, too. [See my set here.]
The day was squarely friend-centered. It started with trying to say good-bye to Heather at the train station, but I was late -- late by just a couple of minutes. I got there and then the whistle blew and the train began to chug off.
Me, KB, Mary and Carrie all met up for pre-Christmas lunch at Big Sky. God damn I love those girls! What a great lunch, and just what the doctor ordered. We ran into a coupla other former other dubbers as well (Chris C. and Dave D.). But most fun was just catching up and cracking up about just about everything.
Later in the day I kinda invited myself over to Dan's for dinner and a beer. Slogrl was there too and she was doing a Day in the Life, too, so the two of us were being a bit ridiculous with our cameras (I even took a photo of Dan cutting the steak for the salad... but later realized, um, Mar, you don't need to document every single damn thing today....).
Sunday, December 19, 2004
emdot: you know who is fun to have dinner with is fred.
heather: really? why?
emdot: well, one, he's smart, so it's always interesting. and two, he's paranoid, so it's always funny.
calling fred to see if he wants to join in on the mr. chen dinner opportunity. ;)
estab cocktail party
Tonight was the Estab Cocktail party. In typical emdot fashion, I was on the fence about going until 8:45. C'mon. I've got a reputation to uphold and it is one of party ambivilance. BUT. I rallied and of course it was fun. The highlight? No, the two -- no, three! -- highlights?
First off, catching up with Heather. I miss her (she moved to Berkeley). Heather... she's one of a kind, that girl. And catching up with her is always good.
Second off (wait what huh?)was spending the afternoon with Heather-Dan-and-Jen. Just good catch up time for what's been going on over cheeseburgers (how how how was I ever a vegetarian for so LONG?). I'll leave out all the interesting parts here -- just imagine amazingly juicy conversations filled with gutbusting bursts of laughter. I love these people. Jen's like 22 going on whatever age she happens to find herself surrounded by. So this afternoon she was a very entertaining mid-thirties. The girl's timeless, people.
Third off, the one, the only: super duper J. Joyce shows up at the cocktail party. J's one of those people that melts your heart just by knowing him. Yeah yeah yeah, I'm corny, so sue me. But you know it's the truth. And if you don't know that it's simply because you don't know the him. He's fabulous and funny and smart and perfect. He's perfect! I tell his mother every time I see her.
He's promised to be more active on Flickr. JJ -- you promised! And his blog. (You promised super J. Okay.) ;) If he's not, thassokay too cuz life is rockin' for him and when the life rocks you gotta roll with it.
My ears are still ringing from the party. And dear lord, my feet are still ringing too. I had the "these require a cab" high heels on tonight, but I didn't take a cab. I walked. And ouch ouch ouch. It was good to get home.
Friday, December 17, 2004
petri dish 2
Originally uploaded by ChrisJ.
what i'm really into these days
» rooibus tea, with some milk, all day long
» fresh air and terry gross
» my new year's cards
» finding your own north star by martha beck
» sewing and a month of softies
» learning swedish
» tights and boots
» ballet flats
» ugg boots (say what you will: i love them)
» flickr, flickr, flickr
little thing i really wish i had
» a john waters christmas, christmas cd
movies i can't wait to see
» the life aquatic
» the aviator
» house of flying daggers
» being julia
» lemony snickets
» the machinists (kinda afraid to see it, but i bow at the feet of christian bale, so must see)
» a very long engagement
movies i recently dug
» finding neverland (about 10x better than i thought it would be)
I heard a great quote today in regards to why christian music so often sucks beyond the worst of the worst of the regular rock:
Well ain't that the truth. But, luckily for the Christians who miss the dear lord Jesus in their Rock and in their Roll, along comes John Davis. Davis used to be the front man of the band Superdrag. But then he got sober, found God and put out a solo album.... and I gotta say, it sounds pretty good. Hooky. Fun. Good lyrics. And you know who (emdot points into the heavens).
» Hear a little bit about it
In the wake that was the bloodbath of the Democratic Party on November 2, 2004, I somehow feel more empowered as a Liberal than ever before.
My friends all respond in their own ways... one is quite politically active and setting up protests; another has been inspired to start a blog; quite a few send out email alerts about the conservative party; and the rest all started to drink prolifically to numb the pain.
Me? I feel for myself, before I do any protesting or create any real "action," it's time for me personally to truly try to understand where the conservatives are coming from. Look -- I put money on it that these people aren't the antichrist posing in christian bodies (much as I would love to cling to that... and okay, might believe that with 1% of my body).... My hunch is that they want a life filled with love and happiness just as much as I do... We just express that differently and/or are "alarmed" by different things that we see to jeopordize our lifestyles.
So it's time to understand... what is motivating them? What is it that they want -- truly want -- not what the sound bytes say they want... not what some pundit says they want... (But I'm interested in the pundits, too.) Really, I'll just be an equal opportunity listener. I want to understand.
So, today I listened to a Fresh Air interview with Richard Viguerie that took place on Wednesday.
According to the Fresh Air web site, Vigeurie "is considered the "funding father" of the conservative movement. In the 1970s and 80s he pioneered direct mail political fundraising. He is a co-author of America's Right Turn: How Conservatives Used New and Alternative Media to Take Power. He now heads the organization American Target Advertising Inc."
I got a lot out of this interview; quite a bit that surprised me. For instance, this guy had no problem acknowledging (with enthusiasm) that he exploits fear in gathering support for his causes. I also got a better idea about what he means when he says "liberal media."
I will admit, in the back of my head I still see the graph that's been circling around that compares a state's IQ average with their presidential vote (all the smarties went w/ Kerry). But was equally impressed with his point that Liberal agendas are hard to get across on radio because it is nuanced.
EXACTLY. I agree. There was more, it was all good. Cuz learning about where others are coming from is always good.
» Fresh Air interview with Richard Viguerie
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Andrea Scher's latest post was a shot through my heart. She did an experiment: she stopped saying she was sorry for one week.
I'm a terrible "I'm sorry-er." I mean it: the worst. And I get called on it constantly... so you know what? I'm going to do the challenge. I'm starting tomorrow and put a call out to a few friends to see if they want to join me.
» Read Andrea's great post. Read the great comments, too (especially the one left by a person named Cas).
One of my favorite Flickr finds was the photostream of ambiance_moushkila. I love his stream: combination of his artwork (which is a meditative (?) study on patterns, images, calligraphy, and calligraphy turning into images and iconography), smokey hep tones and a sly sense of humor.
Also, he's got a cool crop of smoking portraits that are awesome and spawned a new smoking group. I'm gonna light up my normally cigless life just to partake.
» Check him out.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Do I really think that Chapin was smart enough to take the ornament off of the neighbor's Christmas tree and bring it to Kristin's front door? Not really. But I do think he is dumb enough to get caught near it.
KB's got the story on her flickr pic (check it out). Meanwhile -- painters are back which means that Chapers has bravely retreated to the farthest, backest, darkest part of Under the Bed.
So not-so-bright and a total chicken, yet how can you not love him?
Sunday, December 12, 2004
I have this theory on photos and the photographers that take them. My theory is this: often, the photo can tell more about the photographer, than what it is they are actually capturing.
In other words and maybe I am reading too much into it I feel like I start to get a feel for the personality of the photographer. There is something about the way a photo is captured... is it captured gently? glaringly? casually? does it intrude? does it carress the subject? does it coax the subject out? does it treat the subject like a quick glance or with an apology, like the photographer is too embarrassed to take the time to focus in and get the right shot?
With Flickr you can see your photos, your contact's or just anyone who has public photos up. I've seen photos of far-away subjects that seemed lecherous... innocent photos except that the camera seemed so invasive and intrusive. I've seen photos upfront and superclose that seem so gentle... so carressing and sweet. Photos where the simple beauty would have passed unnoticed if it hadn't been for that quick snap of the shutter (so cliche! so true!). Or full stories blossom and run despite the stillness of being a single frame.
- - - -
Seven and a half years ago I joined a list-serv with a hundred or so strangers and very quickly the list had a close cameraderie. So many people back then would ask, "but how do you know those people?" The thinking being... if you can't see them, how do you know that they are being honest with you through email?
My response, while maybe naive, is that it is hard to lie day after day, email after email. Your tone will rat you out. Or your tone will confirm who you say you are.... It is the daily repetition of communication that speaks the truth.
The same could be said about Flickr. I have 93 "contacts" on Flickr now... contacts who upload photos on an almost daily basis. And for the people who have been on my contact list for a long time (and specifically, those I didn't "know" before Flickr), their personalities begin to take shape through their photos -- and I love seeing that. You begin to see who is a joker or teaser, who sees beauty in the every day, who reveres life's most stunning moments, who is self-conscious, who is rushing....
Or maybe I read too much into it. That is true, too.
And speekina nothing really connected to the above, is there nothing worse than finding out that you read someone wrong? That someone you thought was so... fabulous... isn't?
Is it just projection? Is that all life is? Projection?
I dunno. That I will think of for a while.
Tonight it is Christmas movie night at Dan's.... I'm sure you've been invited, so please come over and wear something warm, cuz baby it's cooold outside. Show starts at 6pm and the line up goes as such: The Grinch (orig cartoon version), Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Story, and Bad Santa (unrated, I think).
This afternoon I went over to lure him to Utopia bakery with me (yes, he came -- of course -- who says no to Utopia Backery?). I found him in the backyard, rigging up the poles for the screen that'll be going up.
"Your work may not be done carefully because your heart is not really in it."
Yeah, no kidding. You didn't really have to tell me that. This has been my problem for a couple of months... my heart just hasn't been into it.
And when I say "it" I mean anything at all.
That's not really like me.
I've always really admired those people that can do it, no matter what. And by it I mean, the things that they need to do: a great job at work, meaningless but need-to-be-done errands, returning phone calls.... How do they do it?
Me... it's almost like I need to be passionate about something to do it at all. This may include showering [grin]. Not really, but you know what I mean? If I don't all-caps LOVE it.... It's pretty damn hard and painful to do it.
And so I fight it. I try. I put in an effort. And let me tell you, let's make no bones about it, that effort will be a dry, crackly outter shell of what it should be. Just without life. Without oomph. Without... well, passion, I guess. Or... I won't do it. I'll sit there. I'll stay home. I'll minimize what I do until it's done and then you know what happens? Absofuckinglutely nothing. Nothing. Nada.
So, three things. One... just do it anyway. Okay, so something will done without life... they need to get done nonetheless. And I have faith -- true, rock solid faith -- that the passion will come back. Two... pretend I have the passion. Fake it until it's true.... I could do that... but inside I feel like a phoney. And finally, three. Three... be friends with the lack of passion. Just note it. See it. Acknowlege it for what it is and procede to thought one. Just know it will come back. But don't punish yourself for lack of true-blue fantabulous intensity in the interim.
This has been my little lesson in the last couple of days.
More mundane stuff, for those of you bored outta your minds enough to keep reading.
I cleaned out some clutter this week. My theory: when you are stagnating, free up the space around you. I had this one closet that was... wow, becoming dangerous, it was. I mean you could open the door, but not much else. So... in a spurt of real energy and intention I just wiped it out. Went through it all: toss, toss, toss, toss. Mixed with "oh hello there, I forgot all about you." Then, this momentum lead to the next closet. Clothes, shoes, clothes, shoes, toss toss toss. This feels good.
Saturday, December 11, 2004
(You know what I mean? Sometimes you have clingy hopefulness, and that really sucks. I hate that feeling).
clarification: when I say "clinging" and "clingy" I'm not talking about relationship clinginess... I'm using that more in the Buddhist way, as with regards to attachment. As in grasping.
Things are looking up.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
the farther i get from "closer," the more i like it
Last night finally got to see Closer. And while I knew I liked the performances while watching (actually, got lost within the performances always a good sign), I have to admit, the credits began to roll and I said to my friends, "I'm not sure I understood that."
As we walked home from the movie we started talking about... and not just talking about it but enthusiastically interjectedly talking about it... the "oh oh oh what about this part?" type of talking about it. So that by the time I got home I was thinking, yeah, wow, that was some movie.
Don't get me wrong: it's not a fun movie. And you're not going to walk out of there and want to hug someone. More like head down to a dive bar and have a stiff something-or-other while cursing the fucked up world. There's not really one sympathetic character: they are all wounded and reactive like an abused dog that lashes out whenever it gets scared.
Still, a day later and the movie has kept coming up and coming up inside my head. Clive Owen was amazing. His scene with Julia Roberts (and if you saw the movie you know which scene I'm talking about that scene).... hi-yi-yi. That was something else. Not something nice. Not something pleasant. But ohmigod it was something.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Well, this explains yesterday. "Something transcendental. This influence deepens the emotions and creates a greater need to belong to an individual or to a group. Friendships are extremely important to you today, and they may change your life. Love relationships are more intense, and physical sexuality is experienced as something transcendental. This is a good time to try to understand your emotions and how they affect your relationships. Today you can enrich and enhance a relationship as you realize the strength of your feelings, in a moment when you experience the full force of your emotion. Certainly any emotion that you feel today will have extraordinary force and vigor. No experience under this influence is superficial, nor would you be satisfied with any that was."
Astrology was a recurring topic today. Today someone told me they were Aries and I started rattling off all this stuff about Aries and he says "how do you know this stuff?" and I said, "you know, I'm not really sure...." But I learned that KB's got a moon in Capricorn and man that explains a lot. ;)
KB: I'm not very Leo.
Gil: She's Leo on the inside.
I think that's right.
Once I was working out at the gym chatting to the guy on the treadmill next to me. Astrology came up and we talked a bit about birthdays. I asked, "What sign are you?" and he said, (after making a face like "what else could I be?") "The best sign." "Oh," I said, "you must be Scorpio." And said, yes, he was.
Scorpios always say that.
My rising is Scorpio and I once had a psychic tell me, thank god for that Scorpio" with regards to my chart. ;) I agree.
when stirmenting, go work out
Yesterday I was going a little crazy. Stir crazy. I blame the computer. I blame me spending too much time on the computer. I blame the immediacy of the computer and my addiction to it's constant positive reinforcement of always something new for me to see, do, respond to, check out. I blame too many hours trying to work, but flickr-ing instead, writing email instead.
Next thing you know, I'm all worked up. Ancy. Unsure. Cloudied. Just a crazy energy. And one that I'm none to fond of.
And then I remembered: working out. I needed to be physical. Spending a lot of time infront of the computer? Then you gotta balance it out with some physical motion. So yesterday evening I spent 90 minutes in the gym... 30 minutes on the treadmill and 60 minutes doing a Tai Chi-Yoga-Pilates combo class.
And I could just feel that crazy energy dissipate. THANK GOD FOR THAT. So my new rule is working out daily for my sanity.
it's been a gastronomical extravanza and it's not to let up for a few more days
Last night was dinner at Buona Tavola and all I gotta say (ask) is, how come I don't eat there more often? Deliciously liplickingly good. I had raviolis with saffron and stuffed with scampi. Hello tastebuds.
I hate missing people, because it hurts my heart. Actually... I'm funny that way. I know a lot of people that get homesick or miss people who aren't around. I'm rarely like that. And I think it's because I know they are just a phone call away, a visit away. Home will be there when I get back (plus... I like being a little transient; I don't think I've ever been homesick in my life). What I hate is when someone isn't around and there is no way to check in... meaning... they aren't a phone call away. They aren't an email away. And maybe you don't even know where things were left. And all you know is that you miss them and you don't know if you'll ever see them again. That's the type of missing I don't like. Most of my life has been set up to avoid this situation. So when I do find myself in this space, it only adds to the stir craziness.
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Camper Van Beethoven. God damn I love this album: Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart. It makes me a little sad, knowing that this dates me. And that these seminal moments have come and passed. Or maybe there are more. She Devines Water I could eat this song. One of These Days I wish it were a jacket and I could wrap it right around my shoulders with a hood I could pull over my head and pockets I could sink my fists into.
And just two/three years later grunge would hit the scene, and while I liked it, it didn't grab my soul or pull on my heart as these quirky other bands with melancholically skipping violins or warbling mandolins did and oh the perfectly pedestriany vocals.
So funny how you put on a CD and get wafted into the Nostalgic Forest. Warning: may cause eye rolls from those in your close proximity. Second Warning: bands of yore will date you like rings on a tree.
when the bed shakes.
Yesterday morning I dreamed there was an earthquake. But I didn't know it was a dream... it felt like the real deal. Lightswaying gradually turning into massive rumbling and shaking. Yet, while I knew there was this earthquake, I decided to stay asleep.
I could feel my bed begin to stretch apart as if spanning across the San Andreas I felt it begin to stretch and pull apart and still I told myself "just an earthquake, it will be okay." And I thought wow I've never been laying down in an earthquake who knew that the flat things stretched!"
It was so real that when I finally got up I called my mom to see if she felt it; if it had woken her up. She wasn't home and I got the machine. Instead of leaving a message I got on the USGS web site to see how big the earthquake was.
But there had been no earthquake. Just my rumbling dream.
the best client in the entire world
A client of a client needed some quick work done, so I obliged it was no big deal just a couple of hours to create a few extra pages, swap out new graphics, add new text typical stuff. BUT, the client of the client was so appreciative that they paid me 2.25x the amount I billed them.
They are now my most favorite people in the entire world. Oh dear client of the clients, may good fortune follow you wherever you go.
Friday, December 03, 2004
You scored as Deranged Cat. Wow. . . lay off the halucinogenics and brush your hair once in a while. You're one sick, derranged s.o.b.
75% Drunk Cat
75% Deranged Cat
67% Couch Potato Cat
58% Pissed at the World Cat
42% Love Machine Cat
42% Ninja Cat
00% Nerd Cat
Which Absurd Cat are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
Okay, so I skewed some of the answers a little bit. But c'mon, wouldn't you so you could be the deranged/drunken cat?
Thursday, December 02, 2004
dearest mars, i write to you with feverish fingertips. i have, with no surprise to either you nor i, found another love. yes. true love, not the kind that you find in one of those trashy bitch novels, no. some may call it want. actually i did about 5 hours ago. whatever! this makes me smile on the inside and what really is important here? i will, without regret, dismantle my bid for a certain two seated 'wind in your hair', for the latter.
I had never heard of him before, despite the fact that he is one of Isreal's most well-known authors and recipient of several peace prizes. Amos Oz believes in separate states for both Israel and Palestine, which makes him a controversial character on both sides. And on that, I will say nothing because I'm not even close to being educated or experienced enough to comment.
But instead I'll tell you about his voice. Instead I'll hint at the way speaks, just answering questions in an interview: conviction and passion held together by spoken, off-the-cuff poetry.
Oz was interviewed this week by Terry Gross for Fresh Air. He talks about his new book which is a memoir of growing up in war-torn Israel, sheltered by parents whose hearts were broken by a Europe that didn't want them, only to have his own broken when his mother killed herself when he was only twelve years old.
I had to listen to the interview twice.
» listen to the interview
» read an excerpt
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
we're having pizza at dan's house -- lemme tell you, this pizza is going to be awesome... sun-dried tomato pesto with goat cheese, rosemary, bell peppers, proscuitto... meanwhile, the subject of "how old are you?" came up, with a really awesome eight-year-old.
the kid: how old are you?
the kid: really? (note skepticism)
dan: ask marya.
the kid: how old is he?
the kid: what were you, born on leap year?
we officially love the kid.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Steven Philip Gehrke
At lunch, your friend tells you he's having trouble with his lover, and
you say, "I'm sorry," which doesn't seem to help much, because he's
really swimming in it now, so drenched with tears you half expect
the waiter to stop by and sponge him off. So you swipe a few napkins
from their little tin house, lean across the table, and say, "I'm really
really sorry," like you're asking for his forgiveness. Which, after all,
maybe you are, because the scroll of your own sins, when it comes
to love, could stretch from here to the parking lot and back, and part
of you wants to unroll it right now and start listing them off, the way
they do at hangings. But seeing your friend wrecked like this makes
the other part of you feel lousy and really wish for his forgiveness, or
if not his, then the waiter's. At this point, anyone's would do. Because
that's the way the world should work, you think: we should forgive
each other all the time, handshakes cut loose in favor of gestures of
forgiveness, a palm placed upon the forehead of everyone you meet,
their palm on your forehead, leaning there against each other, a few
small words of absolution, little Post-it notes Don't be so hard on
yourself stuck to your computer at work, even just a quick sign of
the cross from your boss on his way to a coffee break, so that you can
forgive him when he comes back, for surely he'll have sinned in those
few minutes, and so will you, on of those small malices: slamming
your desk drawer because the work never stops, a curse just beneath
your breat, the misdemeanors we all commit, because eventually
even the good must sin, if for no other reason than to experience the
joy forgiveness brings. And why not give that joy to each other all the
time? Though maybe we already do this, because what else would you
call, except gestures of forgiveness, a hand extending toward a mislaid
hair, the man nodding your through the tollbooth when you forget
your change? Or something subtler than that: the quick glance in the
hallway that says, "Here we both are, and that's OK," with the two minds
processing and judging, judging and releasing, both knowing so much
about the shortcomings of the other, yet arranging an oblivious face,
like the waiter who ignores the napkins, crumpled with tears, your
friend has left piled on his plate.
Steffe lives in Sweden and somehow seems to be surrounded by greenhouses. With the sun setting by 4pm, the greenhouses keep their lights on a while longer, making sure the plants get their needed light therapy.
» See more swedish greenhouses
Monday, November 29, 2004
"Yeah he is. Specially for a kid like me to be listening...."
Today is such a typical after-thanksgiving day. And by that I mean, there's still pumpkin pie to be had.
Few things are as good as pumpkin pie. Which is why I just had a slice.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
movies. saw sideways again. at first i thought the audience was laughing and loving it because it was filmed locally. but after the second time, well, those weren't gratuitous guffaws -- just straightup belly laughter. go see. on saturday i met up with a friend to see neverland which was so much better than i thought it would be. to be honest... i didn't have any expectations really... just thought it would be fun to go and see a movie. but it was really good and quite moving and johnny depp may be the best american actor of our time. if not, i'm sure it's a tie between him and sean penn and robert downey jr. maybe they'll have a fight and we can watch. (and if it does come down to blows, c'mon, you know sean penn would win.).
julie christie was in neverland. she is one of the few famous people i've ever met. and while i'm sure she wouldn't remember me, she left an indellible mark in my memory bank. i met her at a retreat, so was near her for about three days and she was just greatly normal and incredibly nice. the biggest impression was how she really took an interest in the wildlife and pets at the retreat. she is small in stature. quick to smile. just nice and normal and basically someone you would be happy to run into any time.
and so different from her persona in neverland. so i was really blown away by her performance where she loomed large (and looked much older than she does in real life) and was grim and severe. i have a whole new respect for actors. no wonder she has an oscar. she kicked ass all over that screen.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
And do you know that not ONE of the network shows were talking about it. Do you know what they were talking about? TRAVELING.
Traveling and all the people traveling. And hello, it's Thanksgiving and more Americans are traveling and blah blah blah blah... did we mention the traveling?
I was shocked. I still am I guess. To me this choice in reporting represented something that is wrong with our country: pandering to the lowest common denominator. Going for the easy. News as a jello mold.
But Kiev... THIS is the real deal: democracy in nonaction with people demanding something better. Like truth. Like real democracy. THIS is the people speaking up and being heard.
Being heard everywhere except in the "land of the free" where people are way more interested in what's going to happen as they sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic just like they do every year on this day.
For those of you not hitting the highways and the skyways on this, the most traveled traveling day full of travelers, I bring back the Daily Distraction. :)
tasty ear treats
First of all, I want to remind you about Morning Becomes Eclectic on KCRW from 9 to 12, Monday through Friday. You can stream it and it's worth it, 'specially if your music listening's in a rut, like me. (Ooooh and today it's live in house performance of [Jon Spencer's] Blues Explosion... tune in).
» Morning Becomes Eclectic
What Kind of Dog Are You?
Why a personality-test-taking type of course. Actually, it's a little crazy how accurate this test is. It may soon pass the Myers-Briggs as the definitive personality test. Oh and by the way, I'm a Tibetan Spaniel, which is not an actual spaniel, but a non-yappy lap dog that likes to show off when it's not taking naps. Um, I mean, that is brave and wonderful and fabulous and does tricks! Yeah, that's it. And it always gets its taxes done on time. And it never has a second piece of cake or adds extra cream to its coffee.
» Find yer canine equivalent
(the link is in the right-hand nav under GAMES)
I love Donnie Darko
There's a photo on Flickr that makes me laugh every time I see it. So I said so in the comments and favoritized it and got an email back from said owner of the t-shirt with the subject line of "sometimes I doubt..." and an email that read "your commitment to Sparkle Motion." Which made me spit my coffee out all over my monitor cuz it caught me off guard and is probably one of the all time funniest email to read from a stranger. He included a link to the T. I'm pretty excited about getting this shirt for my own.
» Show your commitment
Dolphins are cooler than you and me
For some reason this story is really sticking with me. A group of swimmers were out in the ocean and found themselves surrounded by a posse of dolphin (for from now on, groups of dolphin will be known as a posse of dolphin). When they tried to get out of the ring of dolphin they found themselves being herded back together. The dolphins created a tighter and tighter circumference around the swimmers. Turns out there was a great white shark prowling nearby. The dolphins protected the humans for over 40 minutes -- until the shark swam away. And that pretty much blows my mind and gets me thinking that if I were a better person I'd be a vegetarian again. Instead I will commit to not eating the dolphins. ;)
» We all need a circle of dolphins
Some photos that I've recently loved (from Flickr)
Monday, November 22, 2004
It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.
It could you know. That's why we wake
and look outno guarantees
in this life.
But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Sideways. Yesterday KB and I went to see Sideways, the new movie out from the guy who directed Election and About Schmidt. I woulda wanted to see it no matter, but the fact that most of it was filmed just 30 to 60 miles away from us was an added bonus. The crowd cheered at each mention of San Luis Obispo or wineries they knew and loved, familiar sites or any other reference that moved them. At the end everyone clapped. Cuz even though the movie is about two fucked-up middle-aged guys who can't get their acts together to save their lives, it made the Central Coast look beautiful and magical and peaceful and idyllic.... Just like it is. I'm gonna see it again.
» Watch the trailer
» Writer, Rex Pickett interview
» Director, Alexander Payne interview
» LA Times critic Kenneth Turan's review
Old Man Talker. The only problem with the movie and the crowd's exuberance was that there were several people who felt the need to narrate the movie to their spouses. While KB had to struggle with Mr. Kicking Her Chair, I was sitting beside Old Man Talker. And the longer Old Man Talker was watching the movie, the more Old Man Talker forgot he was in a theater with other people who could hear his running commentary.
"What is that?!" asked the man to his wife. "A chocolate? Did he just give him a chocolate?"
"Zssispt psstzt zsispist," his wife whispered back, obviously still in possession of her movie-going manners.
"What?" said Old Man Talker.
"ZSSISPT PSSTZT ZSISPIST!" she said again, this time louder.
"Oh! A condom!" said Old Man Talker.
He also commented on the direction they were driving on the highways (They're heading north!) and forecasted future actions (I think he's going to tell her now!).
Sigh. Oh, Old Man Talker. I couldn't even be upset with you cuz you were too damn cute with all your movie-talking exhuberance. Just please, don't sit by me again and try to share the arm rests next time. Deal?
Softies. KB and I are living squarely in girlieville and we can prove it by participating in Loobylu's A Month of Softies online community project. Yesterday we each bought super soft flannel and then hand-made the pattern and began to cut out our peices. And oh, yes, the results shall be posted and you all can roll your eyes and say "damn those girls are such CHICKS" and we'll smile and nod and say that you're right.
Friday, November 19, 2004
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Shopping centre Santa
Originally uploaded by vanillasky.
Okay. Oh. Man.
I found this one in the Flickr "Creepy Christmas" group. But what is totally FREAKING ME OUT are Santa's inner thighs. Now there's a group of words I thought I'd never say "santa's inner thighs." Ack!
Wrong wrong wrong on so many counts. And yet -- yet -- I choose to post this on my blog.
I saw someone leave a comment last week that said "I'm already sick of Christmas." Heh. After seeing this picture I'm sick and frightened.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "To the mind that is still," said the ancient
Chinese sage Lao Tzu, "the whole universe surrenders." This is true all the
time, of course, but in the coming weeks it will be even more intensely
true for you. According to traditional astrologers, that would be a
problem. They believe that advising Virgos to keep their minds still is like
ordering Niagara Falls to stop splashing 600,000 gallons of water per
second over its precipice. But here's my nontraditional perspective: It
may be harder for you Virgos to quiet your mind, but if and when you
actually accomplish it, the universe surrenders more completely to you
than to any other sign. (P.S. On March 29, 1848, an ice jam stopped the
flow of water over Niagara Falls for several hours.)
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
I found Big Al Davies in the simplist of ways. I was on Flickr, looking to be entertained, and one of his pics showed up as "recently uploaded" on the Flickr home page.
It was a simple picture. Unassuming. And yet, emotionally, it drew me right in. Providing instant ambience and prestory and afterstory and just... I dunno. I just liked it. So I cruised Big Al's photostream and found that a lot of the photos were like that. I prolly favoritized a handful right off the bat.
At Big Al's you'll find awesome nostalgia shots of his punk days in the early 80s (think peg-legged pants will ever come back in? these boys tucked 'em in their boots), pastoral shots like the this photo of the sheep, and glimpses of small-town Welsh living, Welsh vacationing, Welsh hanging out and Welsh showing off. On top of it all, Big Al's style is clever and unassuming. Sweet but with an edge. (Uh oh, am I evangelizing again?)
My money's on it that he's a bit of a local hero himself. I bet that more than a couple people know his name and shout hellos as he walks down the street. I'd shout hello too, if he were in my town.
» Big Al Davies photostream
Monday, November 15, 2004
Regardless of what you think about their music (I saw a note today that said " I cannot decide if Smoosh is the best or worst band ever") there is a lot to admire and make you smile with Smoosh. Hello little girls who have these kinds of instincts and this level of fearlessness? A 10- and 12-year-old opening for Pearl Jam and Death Cab? What is not to admire? Plus it made me pull out an old Princess Superstar for at-my-desk chair dancing for the rest of the evening. Seriously though: More power to the Smoosh.
» Listen to the Smoosh interview/songs
» P. S-star and the wedding DJ (I'm still impressed)
If they get you asking the wrong questions the answers don't matter.
Sounds like the strategy of the Republican party.
Sunday, November 14, 2004
mom: I just read your blog. Is everything okay? Are you alright? I know how much the internet means to you.
I'd like to tell you that she was teasing when she said that....
It's not you; it's me.
You are really nice, Internet. I've enjoyed the time we've had together. You've shown me things and taken me places I never even dreamed of before. Sheesh. Remember "All your base"? Remember the dancing baby? God, those were good times Internet. You are funny and really interesting -- you are always changing things up and always have some new thing to tell me or show me or share with me.... I love that about you.
But, I need more time to myself. Don't get me wrong: you should have someone who wants to spend all their time with you. You deserve to get what you need. But it just seems like we need two different things: you need constant attention and I need a life.
I'd still like to be friends and hang out and stuff. Let me know if you'd be up for that. If that's not enough for you, I totally understand.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Do you think "meow" is just short for "let me out"? (Let)Me ou(t). (Let) Me ou(t).
I'm right aren't I?
- - - -
Tonight is Bret's big birthday bash a la Country Gentlemen. Jist: show up wearing pink and rarin' to go. There'll be poker, cocktails, music and the spirit of Alex Madonna himself.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
The beauty is that there is a whole "Jumping" group on Flickr. People all around the world are jumping.
Here's an even better thought... next time you are feeling overly serious about your life or your surroundings or things are getting you down.... jump. My hunch is that fighting gravity brings levity.
» Look at them jumpers
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Hey Red State guys, need to rekindle that feeling of all-powerfulness you briefly had last Wednesday morning? Craving a little sweet bluffing in your ear? Tired of being teased by all those liberal hotties who don't understand your firm grip on political "reality"? These girls are here to help.
Monday, November 08, 2004
But tonight she was rolling through SLO Town and I was lucky enough to be home when she called. Not enough can be said about Meliss -- beloved drummer to many a SLO Town band, kind kind kind, and she has the best laugh this side of the Mississippi. The Melississippi.
And the dinner was good, too. Thanks Yard Sale Dan!
thought one. thank god for dan who feeds me dinner. tonight it is pork tenderloin. i love him.
thought two. yesterday my mom and i drove out to cambria. on the way home (such a beautiful drive) we talked about people... how some people are so open and some people so prickly. maybe people with "thick shells" have little backbone. they don't have the courage to be themselves... or are afraid of ... something. so they have hard edges or protective armor. i'm a leetle bit that way. (what? some of you are thinking "leetle" with raised eyebrows?) so my theory is: to be wide open = strong spine. but without the strong spine, tough shell. (you gotta have something to keep you up).
i'm sure i could have thought that out better.
thought three. canadians pledging to marry americans are the new world heros.
thought four: lost frog. ohmigod i love this.
thought five: am i sick of pussyfooting around what i really want to do? when will i stop the bs and just do it?
thought six: rut-row, that was a toe back in the angsty river once again. out toe! stay out of the angsty river.
thought seven: however, if you know the answer to thought five, would you mind dropping me a line? shanks.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
Originally uploaded by g e o f f.
On other news fronts... I'm such an early adopter who never fully adopts. I'm like the early adopters who brought the baby home but forgot to sign the papers. Case in point: RSS feeds. How come I didn't do this before? I'll be adding feed options later, but for now, it's in the bottom right hand nav, right under the poems.
Speekina poems, this photo is a poem. I'm telling you people: I can't get enough of it.
What if photos were like favorite songs and you could play them over and over and over and over....
"I dunno," I told her, "but GK said they were a young couple."
"Meh," said Kristin. "I want a nice, old man."
"Me too," I said.
Our neighbor Jim moved away last week. He was great. He liked to pretend he was cantankerous and hated cats, but he was super quick with a smile and when he didn't realize we were looking, we could see he'd keep the backdoor open so the cats could meander in and hang out in his livingroom.
He lives in Bend now. That makes three people I know who've moved to Bend in the last 12 months. It must be great there.
And speekina Oregon, I once again wrapped my ears with the Graves Yes Yes Okay Okay. S'funny, cuz (as I've mentioned a million times before) I loved Love Love Love. So much so that I bought YYOKOK three months ago. Listened partway once and could not bring myself to listen again. I didn't want to bear the heartbreak of disappointment.... But since yesterday it's been all Graves all the time and I am once again singing the Olin praises.
I just decided that this is going to be a Lyle Lovett morning. God damn but I love Lyle Lovett. I was never a Julia Roberts fan... that is until she married Lyle. And while I didn't think she deserved him then, I thought, well, Julia can't be all bad.
The first time I ever saw Lyle was on the Today show back in 1989. I can tell you that because he really made an impression and I remember telling the guy I was seeing at the time all about him. He nodded in agreement, but I now know he nodded in agreement about a lot of things and prolly didn't have a whole lot going on upstairs.
A few months later I was seeing someone else. God I liked this guy. And it was all that beginning butterfly-gaaah feeling when you can't keep your hands or your eyes off of each other. We had tickets to see Rickie Lee Jones and Lyle was opening. We had dinner beforehand and were so butterfly-gaaah that it took all of our collective energy to peel ourselves away and get to the show. We caught Lyle's last two songs and encore.
And while that guy and I eventually broke up, my love for Lyle continued.
- - - - -
Thursday I posted a photo to Flickr and 24 hours later it had gotten 1000 hits. As of this writing it's gotten over 1600. I don't know how it happened, all those hits. Did the link get forwarded in an email? Did someone post it on their blog? I don't know. I did have to delete a comment from someone who didn't seem to be a real flickr member -- he smelled suspicious. I sent him the following email:
I just deleted your comment because I couldn't tell if you are an actual Flickr member or a troll.He didn't write or respond back, he's got no photos up or information about himself and no contacts, so I'm guessing he lives under some bridge harrassing unsuspecting billygoats.
If you are an actual, participating Flickr member I apologize. I'm all for people expressing their opinions, but would like to minimize harrassment or trolling from people who might just sign on to be vocal.
- - - - -
Since the election two of my friends have started up blogs of their own. One I know was in response to 11/2 (How funny if the election had happened on November 9th and then we disenfranchisedistas could refer to it as 11/9) (Hold your horses anyone wanting to flame me about that -- I know the two aren't comparable. Lighten up.). The other... I'm not sure what spurred her on but already just two posts into it and it is fluid and rolling.
- - - - -
Yesterday I bathed myself in Yes Yes Okay Okay by Graves frontman Greg Olin. What I love about this CD (and the last, Love Love Love) it's like Olin is whisper-singing the lyrics right into your ear. He's lovely and his lyrics are delicious. Yesterday's favorite = We'll lie down with virgins and make incredible conversions / We'll lie down on our backs / do all the math and we'll have / strength in numbers. Listen here.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Do not let the fact that things are not made for you, that conditions are not as they should be, stop you. Go on anyway. Everything depends on those who go on anyway. Robert Henri
Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference. Mignon McLaughlin
We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs. Kenneth Clark
Well, while I'm here I'll do the work and what's the work? To ease the pain of living. Everything else, drunken dumbshow. Allen Ginsberg
Henceforth I ask not good fortune, I myself am good fortune. Walt Whitman
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
When you are down, stand tall
You know, it's funny. I listened to John Edwards give his speech this morning, before introducing John Kerry and for the first time in almost 24 hours I felt a glimmer of hope. Tears were still running down my cheeks, but I felt some sort of relief that somebody was still going to stand up and fight for something good in this country.
I listened to John Kerry's concession speech and wiped the tears from my eyes and thought, okay. I can be this bigger person. I can take my own small step towards national unity for my country. I admired his grace and eloquence at a time that must have been very difficult for him.
And I began to have faith again.
Then I listened to President Bush's acceptance speech and heard THE SAME OLD BULLSHIT. Cheney, I'm sorry, but you are a smirky, weasel-eyed evil-plotter. And Bush he gave his opposition vote -- what? -- two sentences?! It was like an obligatory mention just so he could claim to want to unify the country.
Whatever dude. You know what? I was really disappointed in 2000 but I tried my hardest to get behind this president. I tried my hardest to see both sides. I tried my hardest to believe that obviously these people were seeing options and solutions in places that I could just not see it -- but that surely somewhere there was a grain of decency and smartness... surely there was a solution I couldn't see but they could.
I did my best four years ago to bridge the gap.
And I feel like my effort was trampled on by this administration. They were cocksure. They were smug. They were unapologetic. They were hasty. They were risky. They made miscalculated decisions based on manipulated information. They lied to our faces. And they smiled all the while.
So this year it is different. I am not so willing. I am not so pliable. I am not going to apologize for my viewpoint. I am not going to squint my eyes when I cannot see these so called solutions that are not in plain sight.
I'm going to hold this administration accountable to every last syllable. I will not go quietly.
Today I am standing tall and proud to be a Liberal and a Democrat in this United States of America. And I'm going to be none too quiet to tell you about it.
I love Mark Morford, part VII
"It simply boggles the mind: we've already had four years of some of the most appalling and abusive foreign and domestic policy in American history, some of the most well-documented atrocities ever wrought on the American populace and it's all combined with the biggest and most violently botched and grossly mismanaged war since Vietnam, and much of the nation still insists in living in a giant vat of utter blind faith, still insists on believing the man in the White House couldn't possibly be treating them like a dog treats a fire hydrant.
"Inexplicable? Not really. People want to believe. They want to trust their leaders, even against all screaming, neon-lit evidence and stack upon stack of flagrant, impeachment-grade lie. They simply cannot allow that Dubya might really be an utter boob and that they are being treated like an abused, beaten housewife who keeps coming back for more, insisting her drunk husband didn't mean it, that she probably had it coming, that the cuts and bruises and blood and broken bones are all for her own good.
"And this election, it might be all be very amusing, in a Mel Gibson-y, blood-drenched hamburger-of-Christ sorta way, were it not so sad and dangerous. It might all be tolerable and cute, in a violence-engorged, sexist, video-game-y sorta way, were it not so lopsided and wrong.
"This election's outcome, this heartbreaking proof of a nation split more deeply and decisively than ever, it simply reinforces the feeling among much of the educated populace: It is a weirdly embarrassing time to be an American. It is jarring and oddly shattering and makes you rethink what it really means to be a part of this country. The answer: It doesn't mean much at all. Not really. Not anymore."
from Mark Morford's column