Thursday, March 31, 2005


possum, originally uploaded by Vanita.

this photo continues to crack me up. for the record? possums are not my favorite. have you seen their teeth? nasty. yet. yet. the ever wonderful vanita shows the cuteness in even the most vile of creatures -- showing that beauty and humor can be found in all things.

did you notice the dainty hands??

31 March 2005 SC 029

31 March 2005 SC 029, originally uploaded by knautia.

(a little reminder)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Monday Sunset

Monday Sunset, originally uploaded by o2ma.

Ottmar Liebert's blog strikes again. His flickr stream is one of my favorites and his blog often speaks directly to me.

Today's post has to do with Buddhist non-attachment. I think a lot of Westerners try to bend our mind around non-attachment, but that our understanding can become warped instead of fluid. We can interpret "non-attachment" as not caring or not trying. In other words, facing the quandry of how to have goals or go forward with plans when you are practicing non-attachment or the fact that "nothing matters" can seem like opposing forces.

I know that Buddhism is not nihilism, yet I have gotten into this trap plenty of times. The question of "what's the point?" looms large in the grand scheme of non-attachment.

Ottmar clears up the foggy glass, pointing out that there is a big difference between attachment and engagement. And I think yes yes. Exactly. His example is a soccer game: when you are in the game you are focused, you are playing, you are involved, you are giving it your all ("until your lungs are in your mouth"). But when the ref decides the game is over — it is over. And this listening, acknowledging and obliging with the ref is the practice of non-attachment.


Ottmar is a neat person. I know, I know. Neat is a dreadful word. There are a hundred other words you could put here that might be more descriptive and flattering, yet I think it would come down to him just being well-roundedly, fabulously, interestingly neat. (Ha, I see I traded my adjectives for adverbs.)

From him I've seen new ways to think of discipline. Of effort. And despite being a great musician, he also takes beautiful photos of a Santa Fe that will tug at your heart and writes blog posts that will point you to your cushion.

I'm not gushing. I'm not. I'm appreciating. I'm an appreciator.

He has two blogs and the one I'm going to link to may require a membership. I hope not, cuz you might like to read it, too.

» Ottmar at INJournals

Monday, March 28, 2005

three realizations

signs of a life well lived: bits of glitter on my monitor.
my own slice of prenoon heaven: maple oatmeal with raisins and perhaps yogurt.
my own personal, but livable, private hell: flavored coffee.

Rain Travel

by W. S. Merwin

I wake in the dark and remember
it is the morning when I must start
by myself on the journey
I lie listening to the black hour
before dawn and you are
still asleep beside me while
around us the trees full of night lean
hushed in their dream that bears
us up asleep and awake then I hear
drops falling one by one into
the sightless leaves and I
do not know when they began but
all at once there is no sound but rain
and the stream below us roaring
away into the rushing darkness

this is a repeat posting of this poem. but tonight it is raining and for more reasons than one, it feels perfect.

Sunday, March 27, 2005


Santuario, originally uploaded by reddirtrose.

Chimayo. While not a complete secret, it is a little known jewel in the American southwest. I love the desert. I love the high desert. I love catholic iconography. I love dusty dirt roads. I love burritos and the nuances of different chiles. I love adobe and luminarias and cactus that bloom at the most unlikely times. I love the desert at Christmas time... lonely and barren with little outbuildings swathed in twinkly Christmas lights. I love fast moving storm clouds and the smell of the earth as summer rain hits its surface. I love the subtle different silvery and olive greens against the light tan of the earth. I love feeling the air when you first walk outside. I love roads that go on to meet the horizon and the solitary cars that drive them. I love little towns that spring up like hopeful mirages. I love palo verde and ocatillo and saguaro and pommegrantes. I love family and cool beers on a late afternoon porch. I love reaching a town just after sundown and finding a friendly face at the little restaurant right there on the road.

» More shots of Chimayo

words i can't wait to say again

that was a really nice evening.

Four colorful visitors

Four colorful visitors, originally uploaded by complexify.

This afternoon my mom, grandmother and I had a delicious lunch at a little bakery (my favorite) and then went and caught the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill at the Palm Theatre. I guess you could say we are non-traditional holiday celebrators.

The movie really touched me -- I'm sure it touched everyone who saw it. I love birds. I mean, I'm not the craziest birder in America -- or even SLO -- or even my block -- by a long shot. But I do enjoy them. And this movie, like Winged Migration, let's you into the bird world a little bit, to see the relationships and personalities.

I recommend seeing it. You should. Please do.

After winged migration I became really fascinated with cranes. Cranes of all kinds. Talk about your beautiful birds. In the states we have Sandhill cranes that winter mostly in Nebraska (tho some winter in Cali, as well) and then head to Canada and Alaska during the summer. I would love to see a crane.

And lately I'm having a new fascination with pelicans. They are like a prehistoric throwback. A mixture of committed goofiness and exotic stateliness. I saw someone somewhere call them the 747 of the birdworld. That cracked me up. They are big.

So many movies to see right now. On my list of can't waits:

» The Ballad of Jack and Rose
» Les Choristes
» Millions
» Travelers and Magicians

Saturday, March 26, 2005

donnie darko easter eggs

donnie darko easter eggs, originally uploaded by Rakka.

Rakka is a frickin' genius. I'm telling you. Donnie Darko easter eggs and I can't wipe the smile off my face. That's just funny. And perfect. And clever.

So, this led us to think: the new American Easter tradition should be Donnie! Darko! Marathon! I'm thinking a la "The Christmas Story" playing for 23 hours on Christmas Eve day, surely some cable station would want to give us Frank the Giant Bunny on the day before Christ's resurrection.

And p.s., nobody is doubting Rakka's commitment to Sparkle Motion.


orangeface03, originally uploaded by dishpantheism.

A great portrait found on Flickr.

Dishpantheism is yet another fabulous Flickr photog from the Central Coast. She's got a great stream and I especially love her dinosaur love story.... Check it.

Friday, March 25, 2005

, originally uploaded by t-squared.

for a friday smile that will spread across your face, click on the photo above and then watch the accompanying animated gif. it will make you very happy.


What!, originally uploaded by sitarbuck.

good morning all and happy friday!

what a great morning i'm having. first of all, the sun is shining big and beautiful and i love those long morning shadows. second, me and kb mosied on down to lin-nay-nay for breakfast treats. mmmmm... double tall latte hello morning! and topped it with breakfast burritos. third, we saw a couple of guys obviously on vacation, traveling up the coast on their motorcycles... taking photos of each other. i offered to take photos for them and they were so nice and appreciative and had really cute british accents.

but more than anything i think it's just fun conversation with a really good friend. great way to start the day.

how cute is this photo? sitarbuck (the photog) is one of my contacts and i found him when one of his photos showed up in the "everyone's stream." it was of his wife "walking" their dog... only the dog was running so fast and jumping that it looked more like she was flying a kite in the shape of a dog.

it's the little things that amuse me, i'm telling you.

okay -- off! -- am going to help out a friend today at her place of work. more friend time. yippee!

Thursday, March 24, 2005


One of my favorite new blog discoveries is Controlled Skid written by a guy named Greg in a place I think is called Ohio. Number one, Greg often cracks me up with his subtle nuanced comments in the flickrverse. Number two, Greg takes some flickr photo that captures his attention for one reason or another and then he writes a vignette about it. I don't even think he revises or edits (which is impressive as they are pretty well-rounded). There is something about them that always make me smile back at my computer screen. Maybe you will, too.

» Controlled Skid
» It's Greg (on flickr)

Canterbury Cathedral crypt

Canterbury Cathedral crypt, originally uploaded by selva.


Not sure if I have mentioned here yet, but one of my favorite groups in Flickr is Arches. Filled with archways from all over the world, I've noticed that they are often accompanied with the most amazing light -- glowy and ethereal.

I'm going through a real arch craze. Here are some of mine.

» Arches Group
» Emdot Arches

travel day

Just in from being on the freeways most of the night. 73 to the 405 to the 101 and my head is still buzzing. I'm head-to-toe covered in cat fur, so I guess Chapin was happy to see me after days and days of being gone (out of 45 I've been gone 39).

It was great to be away... much needed actually. But it's good to be home, too. Looking forward to getting back into the proverbial swing of things.

This evening before hitting the road I got my first ever bonafide hate mail a la web. You always hear about Dooce's hatemail. Or some random journalist's hate mail. Meaning, isn't hate mail usually reserved for the famous? So the fact that I got one... well... it wasn't the best experience BUT... it was so random and out of the blue (from someone I had no clue about) that it was ... well it was quizzical. I can't say it was comical necessarily, because hate is kind of like being sucker punched isn't it? But it kind of made me chuckle in a stumped way.

And anyway... what causes someone to do that anyway? The obvious answer is "you annoyed them." Well, surely, yes, that's got to be a large portion. But my point is, what makes you decide to have your first reaction be so over the top crazy? It's kind of bizarre to just BURST into a space and spew hateful things like some kind of turrets blurt machine, isn't it? Tho, I think it's hard to confuse a tic with typing. But I can try. Seriously. It was odd, but not that upsetting. Just quizzical, really.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

spot on astrology

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): When's the last time you really gave yourself permission to watch a sunrise or sunset for more than a few seconds? I bet this activity has fallen so far off your list of things to do that if left to your own devices you may not treat yourself to it for months. That's just one reason I feel called to do an intervention. The other reason has to do with your current astrological omens. They say that you desperately need to be lifted up out of the everyday trance and exposed to sublime beauty; that you need to commune with our home star, the source of all the energy that fuels your life.

(Rob Brezny strikes again.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Okay, okay. Soapboxing tirade over and now I want to take down the post. ;)

Monday, March 21, 2005

So, Yahoo buys (my beloved) Flickr (and Ludicorp) and out come the naysayers. The doomsdayers. The boohooplayers. The yahooslayers.

And I was one of them for about 15 minutes. Or, okay maybe 20. It's true. I have no idea why I reacted that way... I do love Flickr. I do treasure that little community I find so charming. I do depend (yes depend) on the onslaught of amazing images I get to feast my eyes on every day. I do love to waste time -- er, professionally procrastinate -- with sayings such as "Okay, just five more minutes," or "Just one more thread to catch up on," or the ever sure, "but I have to check my group pools to see if any photos need removing." (When all else fails, fall back on the duty of Administration).


I've been thinking about business a lot lately. And ethics. And the social dynamics of working productively within a professional community -- your workspace. I've been reading a book that addresses "work abuse," however small or large it may be. It happens. It does happen. And what is funny is that saying that you were "emotionally abused" or "verbally abused" is a non-uncommon thing in the American sphere of confessions and admissions.

But who ever confesses that they were in an emotionally abusive work situation? Nobody. And you know why (ha) because so many people are in an abusive work situation that we (collective we) are behaving in a state of group denial.

Nobody (okay, hardly anybody) stands up to call a spade a spade. Backstabbing, polliticking, plotting, scapegoating, lying, withholding, blaming... these are all commonplace things. So common, in fact, that I bet you either think "that doesn't happen" or you think "well, duh, it happens, hello, it's business." Both statements are the flip sides of the same denial coin.

This isn't me being bitter. This isn't me being anti-business. This is me just kind of facing facts. Employees in the private sector have no rights, no voice, no power and no backbone. I have no idea how any of this is going to change. I wonder if it ever will.


More thoughs from the up and up (insert tone of sarcasm).

While I know every blogger and their grandmother is having a soapbox derby day about the Terry Schaivo controversy, I want to weigh in on a couple things.

What is going on is a really difficult situation with very difficult decisions. We don't know the whole story. Maybe nobody knows the whole story as it sounds as if even the heart attack that put Schaivo into her comatose state is controversial. I feel thankful that I don't have to make those decisions (knocking very very loudly on wood). That said, the way our congress is acting and reacting is making me more than a little queasy and sourfaced.

It breaks my heart to see our country's leadership act like such circus ponies all in the name of getting re-elected and / or pleasing their animal trainers (aka special interest groups). Both sides, please shut up. Or, at least show some semblance of honesty in your agendas (yes I know... wishful thinking again.). It's a tragedy what has happened, and this plays out for families across the country, having to make the tough decisions that nobody should ever have to make.

And it also frustrates me that cases such as Schiavo's or the godforsaken steriod-junkied baseball players get this type of congressional attention when there is still no adequate investiagion into the outting of Valerie Plame or the realities of what really happened at Abu Ghraib.

Our country has gone insane. Insane I tell you.

But the insanity truly revolves around the lack of honesty. Reagan and his -ites loved to talk about Trickle Down Economics, but do you know what has been the most successful? Trickle Down Ethic-omics.

People, all people I think, act as if their little transgressions don't really hurt anyone. Isolated incidents. But really... I'm not so sure. And while I know we can't be perfect and while I know I'd be the first to brace against some kind of moral code of DoGooderWonderland... I also know that these little transgressions spread in the air like a sneeze on a train... very lightly coating those around you. And all it does is take one little virus to make a whole host of people sick. That is what I feel like has happened with the lying in America. We have become such a nation of liars -- from politicians to clergy to advertisers to big business to anyone who ever has to cover their ass -- that there is no integrity anymore. None. You can't believe what any group says to you.

So how to rebuild? (And now I'm really just talking to myself on my own soapbox, aren't I?).

Small. With yourself and those around you. Be good. Please, be truthful. Find some courage. And stay true to yourself. So we can have faith in those around us.

Carrizo Plain Yellow

Carrizo Plain Yellow, originally uploaded by dusted.

Oh man, oh man. How much better can it get? Dusted went on a bike ride and took photos of the views. Seriously, is there any better time to own a motorcycle? Click on the photo above to see the five or so photos Dusted uploaded of his trip across the Carrizo Plains.

plum tree

plum tree, originally uploaded by tamaki.

Flickr Tip: for the next few weeks watch Tamaki's photostream for things blooming and blossoming and bursting.

Actually, if you are a flickr'r, then Tamaki should be one of the first streams you look at each day. BUT... on top of that I'm just really looking forward to seeing things blossom through his eyes.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

blurry and golden

blurry and golden, originally uploaded by emdot.

Last Night As I Was Sleeping

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.

I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

— Pablo Neruda

(Thanks to HG who shared this poem with me.)

Help me...

Help me..., originally uploaded by Steffe.

TXKimmers perfectly sums it up:

And I have discovered why Flickr is so ideally suited to me--for an intellectual magpie like me, it's a huge pile of shiny tinsel. One thing I have learned about myself in 40 years is that I like to know a little bit about a lot of subjects. Mastery of anything is anathema to me. And Flickr is a magpie's delight, stimulating in so many ways, but forever dishing up new and shinier distractions.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Birds birding

Birds birding, originally uploaded by Cora.

fancy footwear is not just for humans. meet monolo birdik.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


all my favorite sites are having server issues this morning. flickr, blogger, triple grrr. i gmail turns into its alter ego, grrrmail, i'm really going to lose it.

recent packages

i'm totally spoiled and i love it. during my less than 24-hour stint in slo town this week i was able to pick up my mail and what did i find but a fabulous (and surprising) package from sweden. it was my name day. and what does name day mean? it means you get CHOCOLATE. chocolate from sweden.

my other package was such a treat, as well. music and a book on CD from a truly kooky flickr pal. the book: cloud atlas. he knew i was going to read it and he said, "no no no, you gotta hear it. so i put the book down and patiently waited for the recorded version. can't wait to listen to it! and the music -- very good mix....

march 17
today is my mom and bill's anniversary and it is also janet's birthday. celebrations are in order. :)

my sentiments exactly
"When it's over, I want to say:
all my life
I was a bride married
to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking
the world into my arms..."

— Mary Oliver
As read on Andrea Scher's blog. I don't think I've read a Mary Oliver poem that has not reached out and tugged at my soul yet.

what is name day?

Seriously? You gotta love the Swedes. They have lots of holidays and every year you get two personal celebrations: your birthday and your name day (which is similar to a saint's day). Each day of the Swedish calendar celebrates a specific name -- usually a male and a female name. When your name day comes up you get presents -- chocolates and what nots.

As I have a hybrid name (Mary? Maria?) perhaps I get to celebrate two name days? Maria falls on February 28. Mary falls on March 25 (and is also a holiday -- for the ascension of Mary). I'm tell you... the Swedes are good.

Why Sweden and not Sverige?

Do you know what bugs me? That we change country names in our language. Why do we do that? Sweden is not really Sweden by Sverige, which is a beautiful sounding word (pron. svair-ee-yah ... which almost rhymes with Marya). Anyway... why did we have to change it to Sweden?


coast5, originally uploaded by Laura Grace.

Laura Grace has caught (quite beautifully) parts of my favorite running trail: the bluffs above Spooner's Cove at Montana de Oro. She's got a shot or two from Valencia Peak, too.

» Laura Grace's MdO set

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Was there someone angry and yelly behind you in traffic today?

If you happened to have been on the 101 South or the 405 South today and noticed a scowly, angry woman in the car behind you and she was throwing her hands up in the air and seemingly mouthing big silent words in the confines of her own car, that was probably me.

And here is what I was yelling, for my own benefit but in your honor, in the privacy of my own car:

f.) Ass! (this one wasn't yelled as much as strongly stated).

But seriously, if you are in the fast lane please do not be looking at the keypad of your cell phone trying to dial numbers okay? Driving in Southern California is serious business. GET OFF YOUR PHONE, Ass!

Monday, March 14, 2005


Pelican, originally uploaded by astrocruzan.

Gaaahhhh. Astrocruzan's Pelican photos are amazing. For a real treat, try the slideshow of the pelican tag. Super good eye treats (just ignore the three swan photos mixed in).

» Pelican tag slide show on flickr

Alrighty then.

Blogger ate part of my template. I'm practicing patience. In truth, I'm waiting to redesign emdot -- it's had this look for well over a year and a half now. Time to shake things up. That includes what I want to write here as well.

I don't know if its the influx of new blogs, the supersaturation of the blogoverse, but I'd like to change this a little into something more deliberate. I don't know if it's the onslaught of flickr which has become my defacto blog (and with so much feedback, it is very fun for me as well). I don't know if it's simply time passing and nearing my fifth year anniversary of blogging, or if it's just time in general.

The past couple of weeks have been meaty. Pithy. Thick and juicy. Sometimes hard to get through, but worth it all the while.

My friend Mitch gave me a great book a couple of weeks ago: Nothing Special: Living Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck. It is filled with great reminders and gentle eye openers. Joko Beck has a way to dive straight into the heart with a snap of her fingers, reminding me of what is really important.

Even if you were to look at Buddhism from a strictly tool-based viewpoint, I think there is so much to get out of it. I think that if you were religion shy or even religion repulsed, you could get so much out of books like this or Pema's. But Joko Beck seems to really just cut to what's important: remembering that your thoughts are just thoughts: they are not reality. And to remind you that you are not a separate person. We are all connected and this doesn't have to be a strategized life. Just be present and courageous. Just be available and open.

Those are the things I need to remember, anyway.

- - - - - - -

  • Reality TV Strikes Again. I've been watching the Contender. Pretty good.

  • Reality TV Rambles by Lazily. I'm still watching the Apprentice and kind of enjoying the fact that America is getting tired and ho-hummed about the corporate types. It kind of hurts to watch it in action after you just spent a day at the office. :)

  • I really don't watch that much TV. You probably don't believe me, but it's the truth.

  • I'm driving home today. ;) And it's not raining. Imagine that! (i'm sure it will start to rain the moment I get into my car).

Friday, March 11, 2005

Towards the sun

Towards the sun, originally uploaded by F o u t u g r a p h e.

Foutugraphe has one of my favorite flickr streams. While it seems she spends most of her time Down Under, she's currently taking snaps in beautiful France and Switzerland.

» Foutugraphe on Flickr

Thursday, March 10, 2005

bar nun (for slogrl)

bar nun (for slogrl), originally uploaded by Rakka.

More on great things from Flickr. Today? Rakka. Without wanting to go into full corndog mode and gush too much, I wanna tell you that Rakka is one of the streams that breathes life into that online photo community. If you're looking for the best comment threads, go no further (unless it's to compliment it with threads de leff, niff, et groc). If you're looking to celebrate the little things, go no further. If you're looking for crazy as puns that take over your life, I'm telling you, go. no. further. ;) She's gotta cool bloggio, too.

» Rakka on Flickr
» Glitterpissing

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Penne with portobello mushroom, goat's cheese & watercress

Inspiration. Micon publishes what he has for dinner each night. Me... while I do love to eat the good stuff, I have just never been a cook. I find it extremely intimidating. But, looking at Micon's photos I have felt a little inspired.

Also on the cooking front, Skaterina, aka iKate, has a foodie blog up under the name of Caterina Cacciatore and it's inspiring, too.

» Micon's Dinners
» Caternia Cacciatore

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

one february sunday on a pier

one february sunday on a pier, originally uploaded by emdot.

Happy Birthday to Two of My Favorite Peeps.


Sheep, originally uploaded by sarah259.

Check out the Obsessive Sheep Photography pool on Flickr.

Friday, March 04, 2005

my foot and kiana's tongue

my foot and kiana's tongue, originally uploaded by Ten Directions.

Ten Directions has a flickr stream that I'm pretty much gaga over right now. I could comment on damn near every one of his photos. And I could fave at least half of them. Maybe three quarters. But on Flickr you have to tread a fine line so as not to seem like a total freak and/or flickr stalkr. I swear I'm not. I just tend to be a magnanimous appreciatr.

» Ten Directions on Flickr

Oooh, easy does it on the metal food group
You will swallow some tacks. You are a little
weird, maybe not so much in a good way. Buy a
yellow tie and wear it on your head.

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?
brought to you by Quizilla

(thanks slogrl)

Thursday, March 03, 2005

on the road again

traveling with a whole lotta books

where's my pack mule?

I wrote an old post last year about how I always travel with books. The top photo is my proof.

I'm on the road again. Unfortunately, for sad reasons. Death in the family, my dad's wife's nephew died two days ago. She's flown out to the east coast to help her family and I'm driving down south to help my dad. I tell you, though, it feels good to be able to help when people have helped you so much in the past, so it's a good thing.

I just feel for Chapin, though. Poor little four-legs just wants to be around people for happiness. And he's got some lonely days ahead. Poor guy!

Okah -- off! Must get on the road to miss most of the LA traffic.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


ears, originally uploaded by emdot.

my drive to work today

my drive to work today, originally uploaded by emdot.

gumbo finds the sunny spot

gumbo finds the sunny spot, originally uploaded by emdot.

, originally uploaded by emdot.

fireplace mirror project

fireplace mirror project, originally uploaded by emdot.

new boot for the boot fence

new boot for the boot fence, originally uploaded by emdot.