Monday, January 31, 2005
sunday evening portraits
ahhh flickr.... so, i may be a total lech for making this post. ;) last night was a crazy flickr fun fiesta of sorts. i am helping javajive admin the new FlickrSocial group, which has been really fun and has taken a lot more work than i thought. i don't mind at all. it's a strictly social group for questions such as "where do you live?" and "what do you do?" and it has been a blast seeing the turn out as well as reading everyone's responses.
anyway, so i was flickring for several hours -- a long time. and from time to time i'd go and check out the new photos from my contacts. and lemme tell you, this is one of the reasons i so love flickr, all at once i had three incredibly beautiful male self portraits staring right back at me. god damn i love my contacts (even if they are all taken -- damn you taken men). not because they are so handsome (but please, will you look at these) but because they are so creative and brave with the ol camera-ola.
i have this new flickr friend (WHO I LOVE! he is the best) birdw0rks. and we were mailing and noticing that way more women take photos of themselves, while way more men take photos of women. meaning, not a lot of guy self-portraiture. and then one or two days later these three photos show up on my screen, proving us wrong.
so, eat your hearts out peeps. and/or join flickr. ;) (photos shown in order of appearance).
Sunday, January 30, 2005
This week I think I'll be focusing on Chapter 8 in The Artist's Way, known as Recovering a Sense of Strength. I'm so tired of this spiralled yet paralyzed compulsive momentummy procrastination interpretted dance I've been doing. Hello: T-I-R-E-D O-F I-T. The Artist's Way is an amazing book by Julia Cameron. I am probably breaking a few copyright laws by excerpting this. I apologize. Meanwhile, maybe you'll get something out of this as well.
Creativity requires activity, and this is not good news to most of us. It makes us responsible, and we tend to hate that. You mean I have to do something in order to feel better?
Yes. And most of us hate to do something when we can obsess about soemthing else instead. One of our favorite things to do instead of our art is to contemplate the odds.
In a creative career, thinking about the odds is a drink of emotional poison. It robs us of the dignity of the art-as-process and puts us at the mercy of imagine powers out there. Taking this drink quickly leads to a severe adn toxic emotional bender. It leads us to ask, "What's the use?" instead of "What next?"
As a rule of thumb, the odds are what we use to procrastinate about doing what comes next. This is our addiction to anxiety in lieu of action. Once you catch on to this, the jig is up. Watch yourself for a week and notice the way you will pick up an anxious thoughts, almost like a joint, to blow off or at least delay your next creative action.
You've cleared a morning to write or paint but then you realize that the clothes are dirty. "I'll just think about what I want to paint and fine-tune it while I fold the clothes," you tell yourself. What you really mean is, "Instead of painting anything. I will worry about it some more." Somehow, the laundry takes your whole morning.
Most blocked creatives have an active addiction to anxiety. We prefer the low-grade pain and occasional heart-stopping panic attack to the drudgery of small and simple daily steps in the right direction.
Work begets work. Small actions lead us to the larger movements in our creative lives.
What can you do, right now, in your life as it is currently constituted? Do that thing. Take one small daily action instead of indulging in the big questions. When we allow ourselve to wallow in the big questions, we fail to find the small answers. What we are talking about here is a concept of change grounded in respect respect for where we are as well as where we wish to go.
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Thursday, January 27, 2005
since flickr uses open api (is that how you say it?), it is open for
developers to build helper apps around it.
one such new tool is called flickr picker. the guy who made it mapped
the photos in three different groups to colors on a color wheel. pick
your color and it will give you an array of photos from that spectrum
from that group.
» from flickr central
» from squared circle
» from color fields
Oh I love this! Called the "Thought Project," 150 strangers were stopped on the street and asked "what are you thinking about right now. Check it out to see the answers of about 50 of the people. The design is gorgeous -- beautiful.
» The Thought Project. Found via hchamp.
Other things I've been digging the last couple of days? Lessee.... I did Chase VI and it was fun. I got all the photos in one day. [edited to add: I won! Yea!] I put in old Wilco for my drive home yesterday. Dog damn I love me some Jeff Tweedy. There are a whole bunch of new blogs I've been reading... I really have to update my blog nav bar.
The other day in an email I was asked how "everything is going" I realized everything is going really well. I mean, I'm still struggling with procrastination -- but that is only my problem, no one else's. But I realized how I'm treating it -- I'm treating it like my first stint in deep water. I'm kinda thrashing about and freaking out and wasting energy when all I really need to do is relax and take determined strokes forward. This is such not a big deal and I look forward to looking back on all of this and kinda chuckling at my baby steps. All that energy that could have just relaxed in calm, deliberate forward motion.
I really love this. My mom -- the ultra good sport was happy to jump for me. "Jump" was part of The Chase IV.
I'll tell you how I am blessed: I am blessed with amazing parents I can really talk to. That I have real relationships with. We get each other. And they are both amazing people. I definitely lucked out.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
I found this story in the comments section of this flickr photo (posted by my friend Anders). The story was put in by a flickrite named Dandelionqueen.
a story told by Astrid Lindgren
[Author of Pippi Longstocking]
"Above all, I believe that there should never be any violence." In 1978, Astrid Lindgren received the German Book Trade Peace Prize for her literary contributions. In acceptance, she told the following story (It made a great impact):
"When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor's wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn't believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking - the first of his life. And she told him that he would have to go outside and find a switch for her to hit him with. The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, "Mama, I couldn't find a switch, but here's a rock that you can throw at me."
All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child's point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone. And the mother took the boy onto her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because violence begins in the nursery - one can raise children into violence."
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
This is the second time I've taken this test and the second time I've come out benevolent ruler. But here's the thing. I agree with most of what it says except for "deviously manipulative." Cuz, and I'm not saying this to convince you, I feel like I am one of the least manipulative people I know. But maybe I don't see myself clearly on this one? I dunno.
Your distinct personality, The Benevolent Ruler might be found in most of the thriving kingdoms of the time. You are the idealistic social dreamer. Your overriding goal is to solve the people problems of your world. You are a social reformer who wants everyone to be happy in a world that you can visualize. You are exceptionally perceptive about the woes and needs of humankind. You often have the understanding and skill to readily conceive and implement the solutions to your perceptions. On the positive side, you are creatively persuasive, charismatic and ideologically concerned. On the negative side, you may be unrealistically sentimental, scattered and impulsive, as well as deviously manipulative. Interestingly, your preference is just as applicable in today's corporate kingdoms.
» What's your kingdomality profile?
Monday, January 24, 2005
aka Selkie is naked again
Finally finally I got something that expresses just how I feel about flickr -- for all of you unbelievers and naysayers.
Birdw0rks whipped up a little ditty, so to speak, in honor of his flickr friends and what it's like to tap into the flickrverse. You gotta hear it. (Plus, my name's the first one! Yea!).
» The Flickr Song
» The Flickr Song lyrics
» birdw0rks stream
» Selkie's tribute
How much do you love birdw0rks? Pretty much the only correct answer is a whole lot.
Friday, January 21, 2005
Thursday, January 20, 2005
» Getting Back to Work
Getting Back to Work: A Personal Productivity Toolkit has got some great tips on how to beat procrastination, how to help you focus on the work at hand, how to get more done in less time, and how to get back to the fun things in your life more quickly, too.
Procrastination is the reward for not doing work.» Getting Things Done!
If you work hard all year, what can you look forward to? Your vacation. Procrastination is like taking that vacation right now. If you can't take a vacation at the end of a year of hard work, you might as well take it now because there is no reward for finishing your work.
How Mark Taw integrates the Getting Things Done method in his daily work routine.
» Get Back to Work
One of my challenges is that I work online. I gotta have the internet to do my work. BUT... I also have something I like to call ADHWOTID Attention Deficit Hey What's on the Internet Disorder.
Last week I created a new home page for my browser -- a peaceful photo of a beautiful room with a buddha statue with the reminder to "abandon confused activity of body, speek and mind." And that is a step in the right direction, but this Mark Taw guy definitely did me one better.
His browser home page is an action-based reminder. And that's just what I needed.
Sometimes you gotta listen to the masses.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Sometimes you gotta just listen to your body.
Monday, January 17, 2005
Read on iKat's blog today:
Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. says "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
And so there are a couple of things I have to say.
1.) I don't understand why everyone is so quiet about the White House admitting that Saddam did not have WMDs OR the capabilities to make WMDs. We have killed thousands of Iraqis since this war has begun. They only have one hour of electricity for every six hours. It is too dangerous for people running for office to campaign. This breaks me heart in such a way that I usually have to distract my mind with something cheerful so I don't start crying.
1a.) Iraq loses the amount of people we lost in 9/11 every month. Every month. And they had NO TIES TO AL QAEDA. Well, then they didn't. But in response to our tactics, now they do. This is a tragedy.
2.) Why aren't the commanding officers -- or whoever was in command -- standing trail with regards to Abu Ghraib? Yes, I think that the people who did the tormenting should be punished, but even more so WHO EVER GAVE THE COMMAND deserves the toughest sentencing along with the public humiliation of having their names and faces smeared across all the newspapers. That they can hang their charges out to dry while the HIDE BEHIND THE CURTAINS OF POWER makes me sick. It also completely tarnishes the integrity of our military. We should all be ashamed and outraged.
3.) Why are elections going to be carried out in Iraq. While I hope for a democratic nation for the Iraqis, it seems to me that following through with the current deadline is utter INSANITY.
I know there are no died-in-the-wool conservatives who read my blog, but if there were here is what I would say: please search your heart. Please search your heart. Please search your heart.
Oh man, oh man. My public radio station, the ever great KCBX (one of the reasons SLO Town is such a kick ass place to live) is playing such great music for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. In one hour Morning Cup of Jazz's host Andy Harp has played three Charles's songs and man, is there anything better to listen to on this day? It Ain't Easy Being Green (I heart you Kermit) just finished and before that it was Oh What a Beautiful Morning (man! my favorite version!) and Abraham, Martin, and John, a song you don't hear much. Other artists in the first hour included Louis Armstrong and Shirley Horn and well... every song was just kick ass this last hour. Go Andy! If you check before 11 AM you can see all the songs he's played.
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Why does it take fear or pain to motivate ourselves to change?
You'd think you really would that it would be out of love and... well... joy for lack of a better word.
But think of all the people who want to lose weight, but don't do what it takes. Think of all the people stuck in dead-end jobs that they know are sucking out their souls yet they are still punching the time clock. Or the people who continue to smoke, to drink, to do drugs. Or the people who find themselves glued to the front of the tube, night after night.
I mean, come on... you know, I know, we all know... this is not what makes a happy life.
Why? Why does it take pain to get us to change? Why does it take fear?
Why doesn't it take simply wanting something better for yourself?
This is a bit of a rant.
In the classic The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck he talks about the ability to delay gratification this appears on page four and I know that for a fact because that's as far as I got in that book the first few times I tried to read it. I got to "Delaying Gratification," promptly got sleepy and decided it was a good time to take a little nap. I'd get to that book later.
Peck says that one of the first steps in growing up, of living in love instead of in fear, is to delay gratification. Emdot: knock knock: are you there? Are you reading this?
I have big plans for 2005. And there is a kind of big part of me that is afraid that I am going to let myself down and I can't tell you how much I don't want that. I'm tired of that. I want more. I want nothing short of the satisfaction of knowing that I went for it. I worked hard. I stayed true to myself. And I did everything I could.
I don't mean that in a self-flogging sort of way. I don't mean that in a "I reject my current life" way. This isn't rejection -- this isn't self-help or project mentality -- this is not wanting to squander this precious time I have here on earth. Does that sound scary or mauldlin or melodramatic? It is simply my truth.
But I'm afraid.
On an online group I'm in, I read the following quote, and I want to share it with you, too:
Pema Chodron tells us that "what we discipline is not our 'badness' or our 'wrongness.' What we discipline is any form of potential escape from reality."- Respect for yourself
When we're not living in this disciplined awareness, our willing tactics of avoidance create an endless cycle of more suffering for ourselves. These avoidance tactics may temporarily placate our senses, but they create a deep form of unhappiness.
On some level we know we're not being true to ourselves or our potential. Discipline is having enough respect for yourself to make choices that truly nourish your well-being and provide opportunities for expansive growth. Far from being a kind of medicinal punishment, it allows us to direct our energy toward a fulfilled life of meaning and one that is exciting and pleasurable.
- making choices that truly nourish your well-being
- providing opportunities for expansive growth
That's what I'm talking about. That's what I want. I want a kind of happy exhaustion at the end of day that says I tried hard. I did my best. And knowing that I deserve to have a little kick back time to feel good about all the hard work.
But first, I must work.
Saturday, January 15, 2005
My all time favorite song? This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) by Talking Heads. Not my most played song. Not on constant rotation. Not on a lot of my playlists. But still, has been my Marya song for the last 15 years. What is it about this song? So sweet. Such the perfect soundtrack. And by the way, if this post inspires you to pull out some Talking Heads, don't forget to listen to City of Dreams. Another sweety.
On my list of concerts/artists that are must sees in my book: David Byrne and Zap Mama.(coincidentally zap mama is on db's label).
I mentioned before that I had some serious resolutions for 2005. I'm so excited about all of them! I have two books that fell into my hands at the turn of the year -- and I strongly believe in Seredipity. And so I share them with you as well... if you are in need of a kick in the butt, deep inspiration, figuring it out, getting organized, getting motivated, developing urgency, or remembering what you are all about:
» Finding Your True North Star by Martha Beck
If you are like me you will find this book is nothing short of amazing. If you take the time to read it and more importantly, take the time to do the exercise, you will notice your heart quicken and things become more clearer with your goals.
» Getting Things Done by David Allen
I've got the ever prolific Merlin Mann to thank for this one. I am a Merlin Mann fan. (Anyone who has a list of absurdities corralled by the number five is sure to be a favorite of mine.). Mann's site 43Folders has turned into a rssfeed-postitnote-of-reminderishness for me. Through it I found about about Allen's book and will be taking the necessary steps to comply in a week or two.
2005 is all about kicking butt, action, and making conscientious decisions to go for IT.
- What is the worst thing on TV? I'd like to offer up the ER promos.
- Fresh Air interview with Ice Cube (where Terri Gross sheepishly asks if it's pronounced ICE Cube or Ice CUBE.
- My Uggs finally came in. Black shorties, they are fakes as they are made by Koolaburra. BUT, turns out that Uggs are made in China and Koolaburras in Oz, so there you go. Who's the real and who's the fake?
- Finally got to see the SATC Season Six finale DVDs complete with "alternate endings." These alternate endings were totally bogus and we felt a little let down.
- YET... the biggest reason to get the SATC DVDs is to listen to the directory commentary which is some of the alltimebest directory commentary EVER. Had me and KB with little tears running down our cheeks as MPK explains all that goes on with the last episode.
- More news from someone (I swear!) who doesn't watch much TV: ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. If you've missed it go rent the DVDs. Or better: buy them.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Somehow we'd gotten on the subject of car discrimination. You know, people who judge others by what they drive. While the stereotype that springs to mind is of those that judge others who drive pieces of crap, I was remarking how reverse snobbery can factor in, too, as we have a friend who is a notorious reverse-snob: if you drive a luxury car you are obviously the spawn of satan's stupider [heh] sibling. From this, somehow, the subject of the Hummer came up.
Kurt: If I had an extra $70,000, I'd buy one. But I would use it for what it was made for.
Emdot: Traversing the sand dunes in Iraq?
Kurt: No, but seriously, I'd use it for what it was made for.
Emdot: [silence, aka the sound of me biting my lip]
Kurt: Serious off-roading!!!
Emdot: [feigning mock horror] AKA killing the snowy plover?
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
you know what cracks me up about people not typing out the real cuss
words? they aren't "protecting" us from the bad words. we still read them as cuss words in our heads.
don't believe me? read this to yourself: f*ck. want anther one? try this: sh!t.
so for all ye asterisking-to-mask the fuck and all ye
exclamation-pointing-to-hide the shit -- what do you think we are
reading in our heads?
silly tryers-to-not-cuss-and-offend. be strong! let your inner-sailor's voice out. let it be free. and let the asterisks get back to doing the work they were meant for: decorating the small print.
the motherfucking queen of all this shit
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Did you know that not all of the senses are equal? For instance, vision will trump hearing. So if you want to hear something better, close your eyes. But if you want to hear something even better than that, open your mouth. Somehow with your mouth open, you hear more.
Yet another tasty morsel from the OL Blog I talked about yesterday. (But I think it helps if you're not speaking while your mouth is open.)
reminder from the heart
The point is that our true nature is not some ideal that we have to live up to. It's who we are right now, and that's what we can make friends with and celebrate.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
but i love it when it circles back to where you needed to be looking in the first place
"Instant gratification is a dead end. Purity always has and always will be a dead end. Purity has never led to anything interesting." Ottmar Liebert
A couple of days ago the Flickr Blog featured acclaimed Flemenco (is he technically Flamenco? seems to span a few genres) guitarist Ottmar Liebert. Liebert, turns out, is a Flickr denizen residing under the moniker o2ma. Never one to question the direction of the Flickr Blog, I went to check his stream out. And I found his stream intriguing. Not just the beautiful photos of teapots and bowls he collects (and I gotta admit: I've always wanted a tea bowl... I like rounded cups without handles), but the other stuff I found: photos of a zendo, the colors and landscapes of New Mexico, and the beautiful space of his studio.... So, me being me, I checked out his blog.
And I was so impressed. I guess I'm always impressed when a "known" person keeps a blog and an interesting one at that. One thing led to another and I found myself saying "yes yes" out loud and following links and winding up at a Ken Wilber (!) web hot spot called Integral Naked built and fostered by some forward thinkers. And that place blew my mind.
Meanwhile, all this led to an interview with Liebert that was interesting, but it was the end that just knocked my socks off. Somehow an interview about the current state of affairs about radio and the recording industry did a u-turn into the land of discipline and purpose and that there are no short cuts to real joy, which was hypothesized as coming through discipline.
Wow! I played one part back three times a quote from J. G. Ballard about the state of our current universities which was also a bit aha inspiring. And it wasn't just those things but one thing after another. One aha inspiring after another. And so dear friends, if you've made it this far in my blog post, here are some other highlights from his blog:
JG Ballard packs a punch
The chief role of the universities is to prolong adolescence into middle age, at which point early retirement ensures that we lack the means or the will to enforce significant change.
Excellence begins with discipline. Excellence begins with discipline. There is no doubt in my mind about that.
I think what I forgot to mention in my earlier post is that I would like to somehow explain/express the joy that comes from any discipline. Take a road, any road, and walk as far as you can. Take a craft, any craft, and take it as far as you can. Take meditation, any type of meditation, and take it as far as you can.
Discipline is work is joy. I think I am trying to express the joy I get out of the work. I believe discipline changes your brain. Practicing something over and over creates new paths in your brain that become accessible over time.
PDAs at the Symphony
"In an attempt to draw patrons and enhance the concertgoers' experience, several symphony orchestras - including the venerable New York Philharmonic - are testing a PDA-based program called the Concert Companion which provides real-time commentary about the piece being performed."
I still believe that looking at a PDA during a concert would take a person outside the music, although it would be tempting to try one's hand at writing poetic instructions for the concert-goers, like:
- close you eyes and count to 33
- take the hand of the person sitting to your right and hold it gently
- turn to the person sitting directly behind you and smile a luminescent smile
» Listen to the interview
» Listen to Luna Negra