Monday, August 30, 2004

yeah, i know it's ridiculous
i blame charlotte

chaper's catster gumbo's catster

If you've ever wanted to see a cat with actual lips, now is your chance. Click on Gumbo's photo above and see it with your own eyes. No photos have been doctored.

And he's back

And he's back
Originally uploaded by emdot.
Mechanical difficulties = sitting in the plane for a couple of hours and missing the only connecting flight and having to some how get the luggage off and call the father and stay in California another day. 6 hours later and Ev's back home.

6 AM Airport Goodbye

Originally uploaded by emdot.
This morning it was up at 5:30. Time for Evan to go back to Canada, despite hopeful talk of kidnapping and homeschooling. I said, "Friends are overrated, Ev. They're easily replaced." [ed note: just a joke people] Somehow this wasn't persuasive. So, he got on the plane and is somewhere over this big continent right now. And we are all a bit sad.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Hair Strikes Back

The Hair Strikes Back
Originally uploaded by emdot.
  • terminally frizzy. I can't do my hair. Never have done. Never will do. There seems to always be some state of frizz. Light frizz. Heavy frizz. I just blew dry my hair and my dad said, "really?"

  • not new. in high school jim r. said "maybe you should brush it." my question: why? I mean I can. I will. But two minutes later you won't be able to tell.

  • latter day hair. The only place my hair works is in Salt Lake City. In SLC my hair is damn near perfect. Full of body, shiny and sleek. With no effort. This proves that Smith and Brigham are right and why I'll have one hot eternity to look forward to with very very frizzy hair.
  • Friday night = Hero. Very good.

  • Saturday night = 21 Grams. Really very very good.

  • Sunday afternoon = Mean Creek. Pretty sad. But good.


Originally uploaded by slogrl.
I always wanted to take this picture.
Every time I drive past this fence I think "where's my camera." But SLO Grl (who I didn't know about before) got a nice shot.

I love flickr so much. I love searching on the tags (Johnny B: search graffiti and you'll be the happiest Johnny you've ever B'n).

Search "California" and you get the coolest smattering of what it is like. And then you might run smack dab into a local blogger who took the shot you always wanted to take.

Also, Cracks, she got your bell shot (1, 2)as well.

Kristin with Char Baby

Kristin with Char Baby
Originally uploaded by sweetdogk.
Sweet Dog K with Sweet Cat C.

Another tough day at the beach

Another tough day at the beach
Originally uploaded by emdot.
Question. So, is it really the end of summer? Or is summer just a state of mind? I guess it depends on what state you happen to live in.

Saturday, August 28, 2004


Originally uploaded by emdot.
Evan got a new camera. Evan needed a new camera. He had a new one at the beginning of the summer and outgrew it really fast. Three weeks fast. Each day seems to produce new works for us to look at. Tricks with lighting. Tricks with aperature. Tricks with lenses. And considering that Ev's only 17 and has never had a photo class, we're all a bit blown away. Hopefully he'll have more pics on his flickr account for me to point to soon.

Friday, August 27, 2004

sara heinrich photography

photo by sara
photo by sara
I chose this one because it shows the path I walk several times a week, along the railroad tracks

Sara is an amazing self-taught photographer who has launched her new online photogallery. Her prints are for sale and her talent is for hire.

Sara has photos from all over, but I am especially fond of the SLO Town and Morro Bay ones. I think you can tell when a photographer loves a subject.... I wonder if to be a good photographer is to love everything you shoot? And then does it mean that you are in the moment? So, photography ends up being spiritual?

» Sara Heinrich Photography

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

rebel photos

If you're in the Rebel Nook and on Flickr then you need to go there now and see her pictures. She's got it set up so that only Friends and Family can see them or I'd be doing a Pog and Donie show with them all right now, right here, on the blog. JDR -- you especially need to see them as you are quite nicely featured. ;)

Friend of Rebs and still can't see the pics? Make sure to send her a note via Flickr and ask her to add you. :)

Those pics made my day.
cat sask fever

from Kate du Nord

Kate is temporarily leaving Saskatchewan (howdoyouspellit?). And her little picking up and packing up post leaves us with an image of her boy and his cat.
jens lekman

Alright. So I've pimped Salon's Wednesday Morning Downloads a lot here. And if you haven't gone to check it out yet I'm going to just sidestep formalities and tell you have to download Jens Lekman, who I found out about through WMD.

Lekmen was one of the artists talked about when WMD began and turns out his songs have been the readers' most favorite. I have to agree. Black Cab has had five stars in my iTunes rating system from the get go. Rocky Dennis Farewell Song to the Blind Girl has been frequently played as well. WMD has pointed us to yet another Lekmen download, You Are the Light, and while it's no Black Cab, it'll still add a new tune worth having on your playlist.

So I'm here to tell you you gotta download. Must. Must listen. Must play. Must be addicted. It's not like a choice. Just download and relax and let it happen.

» Black Cab
» Rocky Dennis...
» You Are the Light
we both are so excited cuz we're reunited oh-oh-ohhh

Twenny years ago today. Last Saturday night was my high school reunion, which was great. As were the others that I have been too. What can I say except that my class was awesome. We were lucky. We were all mostly from the same socio-economic class. People were basically down-to-earth. Few things have changed. The only unfortunate part of this is that not a lot of people could come and I kept thinking about those that I really missed seeing.

What struck me most? The openness. I don't think I am very open, really, in my real life (despite having a blog). Mardot is all about the shields and the boundaries and the protective mechanisms. Did I get hurt or something and just put on some steely armor? I don't know. But my armor slowly (s l o w l y) fell away as I came face-to-face with other's openness.

Bill B., me, and Rob T. That's 3/4 of the Kaiser All Stars, just missing Miss Cassy B.

Such as seeing Bill B. who was this guy that I spent a lot of time kissing in high school (like two years worth) and how his easy-crinkly-smile has not changed at all, nor has the frequency which he shows it. He's got an easy-going chuckle and a friendly, open sense of humor. I love seeing how well he's done with his life. His kids are so cute that I almost had to cage them and keep them in SLO Town.

Becky, the hopefully soon-to-be-ex-atty and current-comic-writer, and yours truly

Another friend who is a Very Important Atty and who I begged — pleaded — to quit her day job because she is so damn funny that my spleen practically popped out of my nose while I was doubled-over laughing. I said, "you are funny." She said, "if you talk as much as I do you are bound to have a couple funny things fall out of your mouth." She needs to write and I need to buy the book. Of course I still resent her getting class clown when I myself worked so hard for that. (My junior year I got biggest flirt which caused my hs boyfriend to ban his yearbook from being opened for over six months.).

And of course I don't want to create a laundry list or leave anyone out. But let me just say it was great to see everyone. And two of my best hs girlfriends came to stay at my place and really, it was much more like having sisters stay. These girls are my sisters, too.

But more than anything this has made me look at myself, my life. I feel good with where I am in my life... but come on: you know my neuroticism can't keep it at that. I want to have that easy-goingness again. I want to let down my shield. And I wonder if that is possible and/or if I am that courageous.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

learning to sleep again

So, this week has been really productive on a couple of different fronts.

One, I moved into my office/deluxe cubby. (Correction: my actual office/deluxe cubby is still being built out, so I'm just kinda hanging out in the middle of the front room at the moment). This has made a huge difference in productivity and the way I view working. For the first time in almost a year I feel ready to work full time.

Man it takes a long time to recover from the Burn(out) Ward. Hand me some employment salve, will you? Thanks, you're a love.

My new office is about 20 minutes from my house. For some reason, driving out there every day totally makes me happy. Plus, it's right on the bay (the town, not the office) and I love going for walks and smelling the ocean air and watching the fog roll in.

Tonight after work I called up KB and said, Can you get here quick? And she, my mom, and I went for a sunset walk along the bluffs. The sunset was amazing: it actually streaked the ocean pink and deep purple. I've never seen that before: wide stripes that ran perpindicular to the coast. And there was a crescent of a moon and the water was just ethereally smooth and ripply all the same time.

I've decided that God's got his own cable channel. It's called the sky. Be sure to tune in around dusk.

KB said that once on an evening mtn bike ride that they came up to a deer that was watching the sunset. Standing by himself in Montana de Oro, just gazing out towards the ocean and watching the Sky Show.

Oh, I almost forgot. The other reason why this week was so productive: restarted the workout program. Man. Nothing makes you sleep better than working out. Well, except maybe prescription pills or an overdose of stress (some people's stress reaction is to instantly fall asleep; I may be one of these people.) But that's not my point. My point is I have finally been getting to bed at a decent hour. And crashing. And I love that.

Friday, August 20, 2004


Ann: I'd like to have a wall that I could open and close.
Mar: You mean a door?
hell maybe be getting cooler

Yesterday I happily ate bleu cheese. Today it was swiss. Not a big deal? You don't understand: those two items are two of the three food items that historically could not make it down my gullet. If you happen to see Rye Bread in my hand any time soon my advice is bring a heavy down blanket with you when you die.
Torture Wheel: Greatest Hits
Tolstoy wrote that each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way and I would add, that when it comes to marriage, especially with children, each unhappy couple reinvents the wheel. The torture wheel. Each of us, after all, has a different threshold for four-letter words and infidelities and all the other forms of emotional battery that you'll find in "We Don't Live Here Anymore," which is like a bad marriage greatest hits collection.

— David Edelstien, Film Critic, from his review of We Don't Live Here Anymore.

Something that continuously impresses me are the insights from Fresh Air contributors David Edelstien and John Powers. These two critical talents conjure poetic phrases and stop-in-your-tracks insights and make it look as easy as crossing a street. Except in reality that street would be the 405 Freeway and you'd be blindfolded and in a gunny sack. They make it flow; they make it come into focus; they make it look like the only answer it ever could have been. And their insights are so on-the-money as to become given, while if you were to sit down at your keyboard and attempt the same you might on a good day be able to only point out the most obvious after hours with a high-powered lamp and a 100x microscope.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The Opposite of Samsara

"The opposite of samsara is when all the walls fall down, when the cocoon completely disappears and we are totally open to whatever may happen, with no withdrawing, no centralizing into ourselves. That is what we aspire to, the warrior's journey. That is what stirs us: leaping, being thrown out of the nest, going through the initiation rites, growing up, stepping into something that's uncertain and unknown.

"What do you do when you find yourself anxious because your world is falling apart? how do you react when you're not measuring up to your image of yourself, everybody is irritating you because no one is doing what you want, and your whole life is fraught with emotional misery and confusion and conflict? At these times it helps to remember that you're going through an emotional upheaval because your coziness has just been, in some small or large way, addressed. it's as if the rug has been pulled out from under you. Tuning in to that groundless feeling is a way of remembering that basically, you do prefer life and warriorship to death."

From Comfortable with Uncertainty, 108 Teachings by Pema Chodron

» Read another teaching by Pema (on laziness)
copy(right) cat

Photo by Derek Powazek,

Derek Powazek (who took the picture) has a cool widget for people who visit his site and want to post his pics on their personal site. Kudos to Derek for taking the proactive, creative stance.
cracker beach

Check out Woodencracker's Shell Beach pics... get an idea of what the Central Coast Beaches look like -- darker sand and lots of seaweed. But you also get pelicans.

» Shell Beach via the Dub-C

the good morning

Time was when getting up at 6:00 was the norm, now I wonder how that ever happened. But I've been getting up earlier to work out with KB. The first part of the week was a long walking loop, but we decided we should go and check out our gym's newest facility since we spend so much money to belong there. The new place opened up only days ago and you can't even compare it to the previous downtown location (which is old and ratty with very questionable equipment.). The new place is plush. Clean. Huge. Luxe. Mega. Awesome. We took spinning with Dave and did hard hills to AC/DC. Afterwards we hit Linnaea's for breakfast burritos and lip-licking Lattes. That, my friends, is a good way to start the day.

Afterwards I went to visit my sister who is recovering from yesterday's surgery. My sister... if I tell you she is sweet as pie just take it as a fact and don't roll your eyes like I'm being corny. She's sweet. And today she's battling post-op nausea and uncomfortableness. Please send her all your healthy thoughts.

I really have no idea how I ever got to work at 8 or 8:30 in the past. These days I'm lucky to get in before Noon. Right. Like that happens. But I LOVE working in LO. Love it. It is so pretty here.

I wonder if it is a pretty not available at first glance? But this is my home town so I know its glances, its movements, its nuances. I know where to look to see the beauty. God -- everywhere. But if you are the sort that equates nice towns with similar homes (aka tracts) and sidewalks and stoplights and groomed anything, this is not the town for you.

LO is sandy. And a little weatherbeaten. Its trees are scraggly and you won't be hard pressed to find a car on blocks in someone's yard. But there is the bay sitting at your feet and the sand spit stretching out and the pacific holding it all together. There is the smell of ocean mist and and a slight breeze. The sky is robin's egg and the cypress trees reach up to meet it while the pigmy oaks stay low like little gnomes gathering together. The people are Down To Earth (exclamation point) and quite an honest, sincere bunch. There's hiking and mountain biking and surfing and sand boarding. People go for walks every single evening -- post-dinner walks are a given here. There are two bars (Sweet Springs, aka Meat Swings and The Merry Maker, aka The Marraige Breaker). Excellent thai. And a kickass locals cafe where you will run into damn near anyone you care about and/or see their kids (and when did the kids grow up?).

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


To keep the miracle alive, to live always in the miracle, to make the miracle more and more miraculous, to swear allegiance to nothing, but live only miraculously, think only miraculously. — Henry Miller

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

don't look so surprised

The copywriting continues. Today it's brow lifts. Here're my (potential) closing sentences:

Looking younger and better all the time? Now there’s something to raise your eyebrows about!


Not sure if it'll make the cut. Oooh! Another one. Rim shot! I need an audio blog. I'll be here all weeks folks! Try the lobster! Thank you!

Monday, August 16, 2004

new coastal snippets

5 Things to Love About Going to Work in Los Osos
1. Noi's Thai Take Out
2. Baywood Farmer's on Mondays
3. Running into people I've known since forever
4. Seeing my mom
5. Nostalgia Flash Back about every half hour (this may wear off)

I had to stop working from home. I had to stop working from home in order to start working. I have rented my own office space. Soon there will be a decoration party, but for now, it's eating Noi's at my desk, beginning to get things done. I'm really excited about this move. And it's fun to be in Los Osos. It's homecoming for me: fog, mist, smell of ocean, smell of bay, dogs, salty dogs, salt of the earth.

I'll miss KB and los gatos. I traded in los gatos for los osos.

» LO Chamber
» Baywood Navy (long upload)
» VR of Baywood Park

Sunday, August 15, 2004

okay, here's the deal

Gmail's not down. But I think my IP address has been flagged as nuh-uh-no-way. KB has a job where she can submit tens of sites to search engines in a small amount of time. This has gotten our IP banned before. So my hunch is, that is what is happening now. So, no email for me until she gets back and can plead and beg whatever powers that happen to be. GrrMail. (Ed. note: Just had to reboot the router.)

Meanwhile, today is filled with chores and work and to early-reward myself (see that is my problem -- I have no power in the face of instagratification) I bought the latest Graves and the latest Little Wings.

At the risk of sounding ridiculous (happened before) lemme just say: I am really excited about this Graves CD. Maybe too much as last years Love Love Love was my number two slobbermusicfest of the year. It could be that I loved that CD so much last year that any follow up couldn't stand up. Anticipation is always the best, anyway. How can reality compete? I just wanna hear The 209 and I Am So Tired again for the first time.

Graves are published by same label as the Decemberists. More former slomusos on same label = Bobby Birdman and Northern & Western.

on marraige, sanctity and being vaguely dissatisfied

If homosexuals marrying threatens the sanctity of marraige, I'd just like to point out that marraige itself threatens the sanctity of hooking up. I want a constitutional ammendment to protect our god given right to hook up.

You know...I heard someone say that marraige makes our society more stable. I saw this debated on Meet the Press. The argument then becomes, if marriage makes society more stable then allowing homosexuals to marry continues to make our society more stable.

At this rate, I feel very sad for my own contribution to society. ;) Not married, equating to not stable? I may be personally responsible for the nation's sense of vague dissatisfaction. I apologize in advance.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

pith helmet

In the beginning of important things, like love and work, there is a moment when we understand more perfectly than we understand again until all is finished. — Andre Gide

We see what we want to see. Eliminate the want and we see things as they are. — Ramana Maharshi
Czeslaw Milosz dies at 93


We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.
A red wing rose in the darkness.

And suddenly a hare ran across the road.
One of us pointed to it with his hand.

That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive,
Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.

O my love, where are they, where are they going
The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles.
I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.

Czeslaw Milosz
won the nobel prize in literature in 1980
gmail broken down on the side of the IPO road

If you've written me an email in the last three days and I have rudely not responded it is because g-mail, that currently hip email address, is showing its true beta colors and is down down down. For days days days.

I actually think this is a God & Google consipiracy. God has heard my prayers of "O Lord, help me to conquer this evil Procrastination Practice once and for all," etc. But said in a Buddhist way, which is non-theistic, topped with some agnostic maybe-there-is-a God hope (because how else can explain the daily beauty?). Meanwhile. Some Sovereign Someone-or-another heard the call. The strategy? Bring the email down.

And so. No gmail. But dear readers, my Procrastination Practice is cunning and I have found many other ways to keep myself away from what I really want to do.

I need a boss whose name is not my own. Rzzl. Frzzl. Someone to hold the whip. Someone to sarge me into doing what I need to be doing. Or something.

Must. Make. Fingers. Stop. Typing.

So, total girly thing. Me and KB rented Before Sunrise on Thursday night (took us three video stores to find it) and went to see Before Sunset on Friday. This has one of the all time best movie endings. Great ending.

Me. Well. I am sucker for these what-if movies. From things like Before Sunset to Me Myself I or that Nicholas Cage movie where he wakes up in his alternalife. I always wonder about my alternalife. And that makes me either pathetic or completely normal. Wait. Are those synonyms? ;)

Maybe you only dream about your alternalife when you had not the balls to follow the dreams. And I think that is it. So Bean, Johnny: hats off to you two. Picking up and heading out for Bigger and Better or just Breaking the Ruts that Bind.

Last night was fun: Music in the Plaza, Thai food for six and a little drinky at McCarthy's where I pleaded with the bartender to go easy on the Tanquerey and he complied. Today. Catching up with all the things put off from my Procrastination Practice (I could teach a master class, I'm telling you. That's Dr. Procrastination on my business cards.).

Friday, August 13, 2004

i still got nothing

Hrm. It would seem that what's going on right now (and it's not a lot) is all rather pathetic to put on a blog (thank god for the moleskin). The hum drum of obsessing about this thing or another. The ho hum of the every day life. The blah di blah di blah of what I'm letting my mind fixate on at the moment.

I'm a fixator. Totally. I don't mind. It's entertaining. In a self-absorbed fixated way. So be it.

Meanwhile. I've divided conservatives and liberals thusly (this is all very scientific and serious):

conservatives: love guns!
liberals: love sex!

conservatives: love money!
liberals: love people!

conservatives: uptight!
liberals: shake their booties!

and I ask you, which camp would you rather be in? It seems like a no-brainer.

The NJ Governor who announced his November resignation... I don't know anything about him. And even if he felt "forced" to out himself due to impending lawsuits or implied rumor... I totally admire his courage yesterday. That guy's got balls (I heard once that gay men have higher testosterone levels than straighties). I can't believe the GOP is asking him to step down today. They are so bo-ho-whoring with their rigid beliefs.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I say dog damn!

Dork alert: emdot's still listening to public radio. Today's plug: all about swearing. Linguist (but is he a cunning linguist?) Geoff Nunberg goes to town about swearing. What makes a word a swear word? What makes it just a pussycat of a saying? He'll tell you. Meanwhile, did you know that the word fuck was not a bad word in olden days? It just meant something you did. Or some people did. Or those bad people. Or the whores. You know. But it wasn't a swear word. Not until you use a word in a way that doesn't actually connote its real meaning does a word become "bad." So once fuck became an adjective, all hell broke loose.

As long as I can remember I've loved to swear. I was the naughty girl on the playground teaching and expounding upon all the bad words I knew or thought I knew. Words like "bitchen!" and "man alive!" I thought they were so deliciously shocking. I thought I was really making a statement.

When I was five I asked my mom if "F-O-K" was a bad word. I think she smirked, cocked her head, looked me right in the eyes and said, "Nope. No it isn't sweety."

» The linguist on swearing

ventura highway

Yesterday I drove home, zipping up the 405 to the 101. I left without breakfast and I don't know what I was thinking. I guess that I wasn't hungry. But around Thousand Oaks hunger pains hit and my head was getting fuzzy and all I know was that I. Needed. To. Eat. Now. (I mean Then.). So I stopped in TO, but the place was a mad house (it was about 12:15). And so I thought I would just stop off a bit further up the road and then somehow I didn't get off the freeway til I hit Ventura.

I never stop in Ventura. I mean, not a real stop. I'll stop for gas. I'll make a pit stop. But it's never like a get-out- of-the- car and-really -rest stop. Til yesterday.

Ventura is awesome. I got a great cup of coffee. I got a little sandwich. I relaxed in the sun. Driving back to the freeway I totally passed this park that I had been in years and years before and so I stopped and just soaked in the sun and wrote in my journal. Great way to break up a long drive.

My friend Steve M. made me a MMW starter kit a coupla years ago (wait. last year?). MMW's been a little tough for me to take and he said, no, no, I'll show you. So he went to work on a mix CD ... like kindergartening me up the MMW foodchain. So MMW and then Gillian Welch (gah over My First Lover and Elvis Presley Blues — love those songs) sang be back home.

Monday, August 09, 2004

where ya bean?

Originally uploaded by R.bean.
Bean's on Flickr. The queen of the bean. The little bean scream. A hill of beans. La Bean Dulce.

Sunday, August 08, 2004


Originally uploaded by Rock story.
Dog damn I love flickr. In one week I've got a gaggle of pals to join and I love seeing the pics they upload. But Rock Story, this one, friends, is the real deal. We are so lucky to have her in our midst. Plus, me and Ms. Story have been friends since we were both 12. That's a lot of years. And how cute is the kid behind the curtain? Riley, take a bow.

Hearty welcome to Johnny B and Carstereo — can't wait to see the gems you upload. Hearty high 5 to Pickle who found me on her own. xoxo.
so, where've you been?

create your own personalized map of the USA

create your own personalized map of Canada
or write about it on the open travel guide

create your own visited country map

Okay. So my world traveling needs some improvement. ;) And can we call the lower half the the lower 48 the Belt of Emdot? Or is it more of a fanny pack? The fanny pack of Emdot. If you are from the UK quit yer giggling.

slips of faith

I finally got to see Before Sunset and there's a lot to say, but not sure this post will be the post to go on and on.

For those who don't know about this movie, it is the sequel to Before Sunrise, a really sweet movie about chance meetings and real connections and how when we are young we may think these connections come often in life. Before Sunset is more about the slow realization that these real connections don't come that often in life.

Meanwhile a couple of random thoughts that may or may not make any sense and that may or may not be cohesive.

Every little slip... the smallest movement that is against "who you are"... these chip away at your heart. I see each of these as the smallest infidelities to the self. Often that little slip is when you don't have the guts to be true about ourselves/vulnerabilities. There is this poem that I love and have posted here a couple times, the first couple of lines are
If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
To me, that is a heartbreak of a stanza. I think I love that poem because it sums up some of my biggest weaknesses.

Here's the other thing I was thinking of... this one about marriage.

When people complain about their marraiges, I think it is true: you could have made a grave mistake and married the wrong person. This happens all the time. But more often, when people talk about how their marriage has become boring.... I think they have become boring. Their marraige lost the spark?.... they lost the spark.

The last couple of months have been kinda difficult (as spelled out and/or implied in this blog) and I think it is good that I was single for this (though god, I would have loved to have had a shoulder or a hand to hold) because it would have been too easy to have blamed my funk on someone else. Single, self-employed, I look around and the only person I can point a finger at is me. My situations are all self-created (no big bad boss; no terrible job). And I actually feel grateful for that.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Dad in DC

Dad in DC
Originally uploaded by emdot.

Today's my dad's birthday.

Today is also the Birthday of Sweet Dog K. :)

Friday, August 06, 2004

le peek neek

One of my favorite sites is Keri Smith's Wish Jar Journal.

One of her lasts posts was about encouraging creativity in children and how Charles Eames suggested a simple thing to do is to involve a child in every aspect of planning a picnic — all the intricacies.

Then Keri invited all of her readers to create a picnic (check out her encouragement).

So, that's what I'm doing. I'm having a beach picnic one night after work. Probably on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. Have everyone come and bring a dish and we'll eat outside on the sand and watch the sun go down. I may ask everyone to either memorize a poem to read to the bunch or sing a song or do a monologue or a skit. :) That's what people like: to be put on the spot at a picnic! Well it won't be mandatory.

Anyway... I'd just like to encourage all y'all to do the same.


About the reading a poem thing. When I was in Scotland I was lucky enough to be there for Burns Night: a yearly tradition in honor of "Rabby" Burns, where there is a huge feast and everyone memorizes their favorite Burns poem and reads it to the group. There's a lot of toasting and cheering and drinking and back slapping. It is a lot of fun.


Tomorrow is my dad's 60th birthday and his one year anniversary for completing cancer treatment. I'm heading down to see him. AND my brother is in town ("town" being California, which is much closer than Halifax.).
seeing/bringing the humanity

Today I listened to an interview of a woman named Gretchen Worden who was the curator of the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. The Mutter museum shows medical abnormalities — before photography they would make casts of things for medical students to learn from. They have a wall of skulls and a bunch of preserved babies with congenital diseases — and all kinds of human deformities (like horns growing from foreheads and the world's largest colon). Anyway... I found myself crying at the end of the interview because this woman — you can just tell — was a really extraordinary person. She found real beauty in the abnormalities. She found humanity in the suffering. The descendents of Chang and Eng, the "original" siamese twins whose liver and body casts are in the museum — sent flowers to the museum with a note of appreciation for Worden's helping them to understand their grandfathers better.

That type of decency touches me very much. And I never knew who this woman was before today — days after she passed away — and my heart is both sad that she died and thankful that we had someone like that here on earth. We need more people like that.

» Fresh Air Interview
» Ms. Worden's obituary
» Mutter Museum

Thursday, August 05, 2004


jb and peanut, bend front porch

Have I pimped Johnny's blog? I can't remember. [Emdot scrolls south and sees she's talked of pimping, but the actually pimpage did not happen.].

I like JB's blog. Number one, I've known Johnny for probably 10 years or more and never woulda took him for a blogger. And two, he's got a slippery, vagrant way with words that fills out his form. Not really too sure how to explain. 'Cept, (and this will only make sense to me as the rest of all y'all weren't there for this story), it reminds me of two old friends of mine who used to talk in this slippery vagrant speak that was a type of combination surf poetry and purring and kicking a can. JB woulda been friends with them for sure.



Meanwhile, I've reconnected with other friends lately, too. My old pal Scott M.... Okay here's a story.

When I was 17 I was slightly one-foot out of the "control" boundaries. My mom and I were having major power struggles, and that power struggle was basically centered around when I should come home at night (and my question was "if at all" as partying with my friends seemed way more important than any familial obligation. Truthfully, I was wretched and awful. Perhaps all 17 year olds should be stopped and/or held up in a closet until their 18th birthday, but I digress.). I was a terror at home, but a kitten with my friends.

The guys I hung out with were this terrific combination of heart of gold and trying their hardest to be the baddest boys that my little sleepy oceanic bay town could muster. But they looked bad in my eyes, and when you are 17 that is the highest of compliments.

Two brothers, Aaron and Scott had what every 17 year old wants: their own house. Home of the Squidly Squadron (what they called themselves), it was the base of all of our loungings about and dreams of what it would be like to someday actually turn 21.

One day, I can't even remember what it was I did, but my mom had finally had enough and kicked my butt out of the house. That was it. I was done. No more free rides. It was time for me to figure things out on my own. I have a feeling that she thought I would find out how hard it was to find a place to live, not to mention pay rent and be the adult I so badly wanted to play on TV.

But Scott said, "move in here" within about 5 hours of my mom's edic. Move in?! At the headquarters?! No parents?! Wildness?! Partying?! What could be better than that?

And that is how it came to be that my mom immediately recalled her eviction and forbade me from moving out and then I turned 18 and we became great friends and all power struggles ceased.

Anyway, that wasn't such a great story after all. But, I reconnected with Scott and it is fun to see where people are now in their lives. How they've changed. How they've stayed the same. More than anything, though, I think I just get the proverbially warm fuzzy seeing how people I've cared about so much in my formative years have made good in their lives. That they smile a lot and are surrounded by great friends who cherish them.

What more could we want?
amanda and joe in the upper one
after leaving the lower 48

Amanda and Joe are keeping a blog as they live a summer (or more?) in Alaska. Amanda and I were housemates for a year or two (or three?) in the Big Green Monster. She's one of a kind: super kind hearted and belly laughs to the point where no sound comes out. God I love that. It cracks me up to even think about it. Joe is the red-shirted torso on the front of my web site (you can see him in my 26 Things as well).

Check out their blog, Stonefeather, for news on Alaskan adventures as well as Flickr pics for the beauty all around them.

» Stonefeather blog

Shane's shower

Last summer I mentioned going over to Green's new house. La Casa Verde. Shane bought this little spanish bungalow about two years ago and for two years he has put his blood, sweat, and new boots into renovating his little pad.

Shane had never built a thing before. But since moving to Paso Shane has single-handedly (when Dan didn't help -- but only a little) redone all the plumbing, put in beams, put in a bathroom where there was none, hung dry wall, and laid enough tile to stretch to the moon and back.

Okay. That was an exaggeration. To Templeton and back.

Shane's shower
Originally uploaded by emdot.
famous umbrellas

Okay, you've heard me rave about Wednesday Morning Downloads here before (Salon's weekly music hat tip — and man, I've gotten awesome songs from this). It's riddled with a lot of free music downloads and great intros to music I pro'lly never would have heard without it.

Meanwhile, Famous Umbrellas by King Radio... yummy. Go download now and you'll have a tasty song treat for the rest of the day.

» King Radio
» Download the song
» Salon's Wed AM DL

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

This picture reminds me of the back bay photo I took on Sunday. They're like long lost coastlines, separated at birth.
Originally uploaded by Chris Lloyd.

back bay
Originally uploaded by emdot.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Kristin's first Flickr pic — from her trip last week, biking down the Oregon coast.
Originally uploaded by sweetdogk.

"Between 2000 and 2003, military doctors performed 496 breast enlargements and 1,361 liposuction surgeries on soldiers and their dependents, the magazine said.

The magazine quoted an Army spokeswoman as saying, "the surgeons have to have someone to practice on."

» - Report: Bigger breasts offered as perk to soldiers - Jul 21, 2004
a don't-miss blog

Skaterina, aka iKat (I seem to mention her from time to time) is someone you should know. I'm not sure what to write here, because to be honest, I could be over-the-top and say more than she'd like (it's happened before). So instead lemme say this. iKat is one of the people that when you meet her you have to tell other people. I think it's okay for me to tell you that she's a Senior Katizen. That she used to have a theatre group in Italy. She had a restaurant for years in Topanga. That she's lived all over the place and has toted a boat load of animals whilst gypsying across the earth. She weaves and she writes and she cooks. And she always seems to sum things up succinctly. And she skates. And she zambonis. See, toldya she's cool.

» Skaterina
Kelly's gone Flickr, too. I love this. It's so cool to go to your flickr page and immediately see the new things from your friends, too. So, c'mon people, keep loading them up. And I wanna see Buddy Icons for everyone! JDR just called me the Flickr Nazi. I'd say Hiel Flickr, but I'm sure that would be in the rudest taste.
dry thistle
Originally uploaded by mscaprikell.
Yea! JDR (aka Calvo) has uploaded a bunch of pictures to Flickr. I love it when friends become friends with your other friends. Case in point, JDR's been out to Cali to visit three times and now Maya is going out to visit him. I love shit like that. I tell ya, it's the littlest things.
Originally uploaded by calvo.
birthday limerick season

Today is Maya's Birthday

rebel and maya at live oak

There once was a girl with cable
Who was smart, talkative, and able
With a penchant to ponder
And a will to go wander
She takes hours to eat at the table

Today our sweet lass will turn thirty
Though I doubt this will stop our young flirty
From thinking and dreaming
From laughing or screaming
Or ceasing her looks which are purty

Happy Birthday to Little Miss My
Still stunned by how fast the years fly?
May your day reign supreme
May your year be the thing
To lift, to sustain, to gratify

Yesterday was Timothy's birthday

There once was a guy in the Navy
Who everyone else thought was crazy
A glance in the mirror
Let him see himself clearer
As someone unique and amazing

He 12-stepped himself into Health
and learned alot about hisself
The girl with his heart
Introduced him to art
He began to paint a new self

He painted and folded and creased
Unfolded and painted and breathed
Gallery showings
Triumphant and glowing
Made him happy and hopeful and pleased

Life continued to blossom and open
The door was ajar to let hope in
It's his birthday today
So hip hip hooray
In the festivities may he soak in

So come one and all, let's join hands
(Billy 2 shoes stop eating rubber bands)
(Ramon cut that out
'for the police find us out)
to sing Happy Birthday to the T-Man

Meanwhile, T's got a limerick of his own and it goes like this:

there was a young man from vermont
who used to go on the lake in a boat.
he got hit with an oar
while rowing the boat
and now the young man must wear glasses.

It's the anti lymeric, says T. He's got some birthday ruminations on his site and what it means to be a not-old guy.

Monday, August 02, 2004

aka, hey, emdot, where's yer comments section

Jim and Johnny
Jim and Johnny B., back in the day

Regarding yesterday's story of stinky marsh mud, JB concurs:
yup, not a myth, but mud. duh! ccs is the place to be when it comes to booties. not the pirate type. as the picture goes, jb hearts coordinating kids culture. also, jb is a lover of smells, no not just his own, but of wet wood and humidity choking prairy brush.
— johnny b

SLO Town's loss is Oregon's gain. Johnny B sold his house, packed his stuff, grabbed his dog and moved to Bend. (What is it with the SLO migration to Oregon?) Meanwhile, it's the internet's gain too, cuz JB's got blog. But Emdot's got no comments section (because Emdot is a chicken), so in the meantime, in the absense of comments on El Meandering Streamies, Johnny sends his via email.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

a day by the bay

Aiden and Sophie in Baywood Originally uploaded by emdot.

"My mom loves the smell of low tide," Mary said, which is the equivalent of saying "I love the smell of the sewer in the spring time." We were walking along the back bay with her kidlets.

"She should shop at Ross then." (Ross is built on a sewer line who's personal mission is simply Stink. It. Up.)

Baywood Park: Back bay Originally uploaded by emdot.

The original plan was to canoe over to the sand dunes (seen in the background of this picture), but it was pretty windy and high tide wouldn't last that long. In Baywood, canoeing and kayaking can only happen at high tide because the Bay is only about 18 inches deep. And if you get stranded out on the Bay when the water's gone out, you are out of luck because the Bay floor can only hold up the weight of a very light leaf. And if you happen to think that you can get out of your canoe and just pull the boat back into shore, you will soon be rethinking that thought as you slowly and relentlessly sink into the wet, gooey mud. Gooey mud that is filled with mud worms and other evil creatures. And you won't just sink to the tops of your feet or your ankles. You will (and I promise) sink to your hip bones. And the mud worms will come to suck on your poor, stuck legs. You will be stranded there until the tide comes back in, 12 hours later. So, I hope you brought a hat.

I'm not making this up.
of course this isn't true, but i do like my books

You speak eloquently and have seemingly read every
book ever published. You are a fountain of endless (sometimes useless) knowledge, and never fail to impress at a party. What people love: You can answer almost any question people ask, and have thus been nicknamed Jeeves. What people hate: You constantly correct their grammar and insult their paperbacks.

What Kind of Elitist Are You?
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