Thursday, November 30, 2006

chalk and awe

chalk and awe, originally uploaded by emdot.

i haven't taken a photo in days. and a photo i've liked? well, it's been even longer than that. i'm in the middle of a transition which has me focusing on other tasks (and talking cryptically on my blog).

i've been battling some kind of bug for what feels like weeks. i go through periods of exhaustion and then periods of just... kinda feeling funky. i've been dealing with a bleeding nose for at least three weeks. the air is dry. and my back hurts. and and and.

transitions affect all parts of our lives.

while i declutter (yes, still working on that), i continue to watch the sopranos and listen to the director commentaries.

what i've learned: i'm picky when it comes to directory commentaries. listen, directors... actors... set designers... producers... and what-have-yous... i'm sure you are a very interesting person. i'm sure your home life is rich and complex and funny and ohmigod so je ne sais quas. but guess what? i don't want to know about it.

instead, tell me about the lighting. the equipment, the actors, the moment, the scene, the music, the motifs... tell me about the shot that was such a struggle, what wasn't used, what was improvised, who is fabulous, and what just really gets you excited about the scene.

and i will be your loyal friend forever.

today on utata the subject of the things you know you are good at came up.

i am good at the smallest and most trivial of things.

i am good at being loyal (too good.).
i am good at finding the silver lining in damn near anything.
i am master non grata at forgiveness and cutting slack.
i am good at adding the trivial anecdote at the most inappropriate times.
i am good at sharing a bottle of wine, a six pack or a g&t (maybe too good.).
i am good at listenting to lectures.
i a good at taking notes.
i am good at believing that most of you are completely, 100% worth listening to.

i am bad at faking "like" when i do not like.
i am bad at "flying by the seat of my pants" when an emotional chord is struck.
i am bad bad bad bad BAD at working by myself in a big room.
i am very bad at isolation.
i am bad at recognizing in the moment that i am bad at isolation.
i am bad at acting on those things that make me uncomfortable.
i am bad at phone calls.
i am bad bad bad at opening up my mail.
i am bad at rectifying things.
i am bad at the repetitive every-day-stuff.

but, did i mention that i am very good at organizing while watching old episodes of the sopranos? so very good. in fact, i think i will go and practice that special gift right now.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


eddy_MdO_bluff_MG_1758-9, originally uploaded by mikebaird.

ohmigod. i am so in love with this photo!

mike made me a contact this evening so i toodled on over to his flickr stream to check out his photos. wow wow and wow! mike really captures the central coast. you know what i mean... he captures it as you experience it. it's one thing to take a photo and make it a hyperexperience. then there's the other thing of taking a photo and having it not meet your expectations.

somehow this guy gets the photos in a very real mode. nothing more. nothing less.

but when i say "nothing more," i should add the disclaimer that where i am from is pretty consistently jawdropping. so in other words, mike is really good at capturing the drop of the jaw.

did i say i freaking LOVE this photo???

i'm blogging

when bloggers go bad...

or is it when blogging goes corporate? mainstream? middle-freaking-aged?

must stop while i'm ahead.

making fun of bloggers, i mean.

hello, kettle? you are black!

sincerely yours,

the pot.

part meerkat

part meerkat, originally uploaded by Automatt.

meerkats are the new chihuahuas

it's true. you KNOW you would own a meerkat and find it a cute collar and bring it everywhere with you if you could. don't try to deny it.

Bugging me: people who think that "best" is a smarmy way to sign an email. I LOVE "best." I love best, all the best, best thoughts, bestests, and bestestests. I love besties. Besters. Best to the Best. Best in the West. Best Fest. And Big Smackies of Bestestness All Over Your Face.

There is no need to hate the best (found via Kottke, my source for all things online and relevant.

Let's see. What else is bugging me? In no particular order...
  • my hair. grrr. enough already. blech.

  • working all by myself for most of the day (dear student assistants, if you happen to read this, this is not me plying you to work more often or come in and do your homework more often; but i love it when you do and thank you.) that's just me stating that it is really really really really hard for me to work in a big big big open space all by my lonesome for hours on end. i can feel the energy seep out of me. by the end of the day i am so low and depressed and depleted... IT SUCKS!!!! it's not even that i need to talk or anything. i am just the type of person who likes others nearby.

  • ... maybe that is it in the bugging me category....

  • now for the loving it category....

  • meerkats

  • and that's it

I guess most things are in the "meh" category these days. Never a good sign. :)

» Terry Gross Interviews Anita O'day (don't miss this)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


ygr, originally uploaded by johnyo.

i absolutely love love LOVE this photo from Johnny O in SF. why he was in bellingham? enquiring minds wanna know! tell us, olmie!

john and i worked together for several years, several years ago. he recorded my one and only time in front of a recording mic. and he's got the sweetest dog in town.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

the de-clutter update

cuz i know everyone is hanging onto the edge of their seats here.
  • major progress
  • countless trash bags
  • the purging of many things i was clinging to for no apparent reason
  • ALL of the sopranos, season two, including going back for two episodes with directory commentaries
  • i love director commentaries
  • well, the good ones, at least
i'd kinda forgotten how totally brilliant the sopranos is. i haven't seen any of this last/current season and, true, am still rattled from that one episode in season five (you know the one; poor ade; that's what i'm going to call that episode: poor ade; i think it's called Long Term Parking.)

but now i am beat. i wish i would have made even more progress. but that is what tomorrow is for. right now? exhausted. tucking myself in. what is tomorrow? the 27th? only four more days to go. amazing. i'm glad for the November challenge, though, truly.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

nostalgia (refrigerator version)

it's time once again, folks

time to fight the good fight.

the fight against clutter.

so i am spending my saturday night tackling The Closet Which Shall Not be Tamed. i've got a machete, a blowtorch, some plastic gloves and protection goggles, and i'm still not sure that i am properly prepared.

but i've already slain FOUR huge bags of paper crap. gone. shredded or ripped or tossed and gone forever. bye bye. just getting through that much junk has made me feel lighter.

how much more do i have to go?

would you ask such a thing of lancelot when he had only just started out on his journey? or frodo baggins? magellen? cook? balboa? i think no. :)

i'm at that middle explosion stage when you know you've made progress but somehow everything has multiplied and s p r e a d out. but i just poured myself a glass of wine (baileyana pinot noir) and got out an old season of the sopranos on DVD and me and this beast? we shall meet and i shall come out the victor.

(and just to remind you: already = four, whole bags of paper crap gone!!!! excuse me while i do a premature victory dance.)

Friday, November 24, 2006

tip #225: do not sneeze directly after applying mascara
We may say, and even half-believe, that compassion is marvelous, but in practice our actions are deeply uncompassionate and bring us and others mostly frustration and distress, and not the happiness we are all seeking.

Isn’t it absurd that we all long for happiness, yet nearly all our actions and feelings lead us directly away from that happiness?

What do we imagine will make us happy? A canny, self-seeking, resourceful selfishness, the selfish protection of ego, which can as we all know, make us at moments extremely brutal. But in fact the complete reverse is true: Self-grasping and self-cherishing are seen, when you really look at them, to be the root of all harm to others, and also of all harm to ourselves.

— Sogyal Rinpoche


Man: Christmas has two s's and they both are dollar signs.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

This is true

meet my little nephew nathan

meet my little nephew nathan, originally uploaded by emdot.

one nathan under blog

is he the cutest ever or what???

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

sbc seeks jbp

breaking writer's block = breaking life blocks?

Read today from one of NPR's NaNoWriMo author interviews, on breaking writer's block:
"One thing I like to do is crack open the dictionary, find a word I hadn't heard of before and write a poem around it. Sometimes the poems are silly, sometimes they're painful, but they always get me excited about writing again. I'm also partial to choosing an object -- preferably edible, ideally a strawberry -- and taking time to explore it slowly, mindfully, using all of my senses."

This always calms me down, wakes me up, and blasts my writing right back open.
— Gayle Brandeis
» Read this interview
» See the list of interviews

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Portraits of November Feet

-- from TheAlieness GiselaGiardino├é²├é³ - (?)
Gi in Argentina (where it's summertime)

-- from Elizabeth Taylor - (?)
Steph in Mass (where it's freezingtime)

i love november
Me in Big Sur (where it's pinch yerselftime)

Friday, November 17, 2006

sevens and the city

sevens and the city, originally uploaded by emdot.

taken two weeks ago from atop griffith park observatory. sevens inadvertantly (sp?) doing a good Wings of Desire impression.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

remembering happy em

remembering happy em, originally uploaded by The 10 cent designer.


so grumpy i had to cancel dinner plans with KB. so grumpy that ... ugh... i couldn't even be with myself!

but here's the deal... sometimes if you just pipe up with a little confession (to anyone!) that "I am grumpy today"... well... i think the power of the grump begins to fade.

So, today, I confessed to the beloved Utata group my crankiness. And then I confessed to my beloved KB. And then I confessed again to the ever wonderful and likewise beloved 7-how-7. And the grumpy cloud began to dissipate (it turned from cumulus grumpy cloud to wispy partial cloudy.).

But the clincher? The thing that broke my frown and made me crack a smile? Miss 10-cent piece herself, doing an impression of me with my cowboy hat. It did more than clear the cloudy sky — it actually brought a little tear to my eye. Sigh. Life? It is good. No matter what my bad moods try to tell me.

Lori, you big goofball queen of the interior landscapes — thank you. Seriously. Thank you. :)

Fellow Female Flickr Photographer #8: the ten cent designer

So, everyone, it's about time I said this anyway &$151; check out the totally awesome 10 Cent Designer. Her interior shots cannot be beat. Can. Not. No way. They are the best. Her monkey shots? Perfection. But more than anything I love her slice o' life and her la-la-la take on life. We should all have that take.

» 10 Cent Designer
» Interiors
» Leonbard and his friends

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

noodle boy, descending

grrr my camera

I love lurve luff my camera. Seriously. My camera? The perfect camera for me. Except for a couple of features. One of them is that the menu button falls naturally under my right thumb; I constantly hit it and change my settings.

Example: the photo above. Somehow I changed the setting from high to medium and the photo ended up only being 1600 px wide. Which means I can't enter it into JPG Magazine's blur competition. Boo to the hoo. Bum to the mer. Wah to the wah. Et to the cetera.

Blogging every day? DAMN HARD. I'm just saying.

Oh and also, me? Hungry. Again, I'm just saying.

AND... I finally talked to my grandma. Why did I put that off? She's the best. Really. Truly. A firecrackers amongst eighty year olds, not to mention amongts firecrackers.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

good morning sunshine

my cat, he's got catfood breath

aka gratuitous blog post cuz it's harder than i thought to post every damn freaking day.
  • chapin has calmed down
    thank the good lord above amen. ever since [monster truck voice] Chapin got into his Big Cat Fight of 2006[/mtv] he's been kinda pathetic. super meowlie. super pace-y. super jumpy. super not-fun-to-be-around.

    Lesson: spend time with cat = cat calms down. I stayed home this weekend and Chapin resumed Normal Cat Status. More purring that meowling. More purring than pacing. More purring than jumpingbean-aciousness.

    Mission accomplished.

  • New car insurance.
    Can I get a collective YEA followed by a collective sigh of relief?

  • Called my Uncle Robert. Called my grandma (she wasn't there; but hello I CALLED.

    All you people with a command over the key pad and the dial tone and the reciever? I envy you. I'm sure -- no! positive -- you take your gift for granted (the gift of calling). In fact, I got 10 smackers that say that you may even get angry when your friends don't keep in touch.


    I am here to tell you that it isn't so easy for a select group of us. The phone-a-phobes. The mere thought of calling creates sweat beads on our foreheads. The mere pondering of people who'd like to hear from us? (Excuse me while I go to grab a Xanax.) (What was I thinking even starting this topic.)

    Let's just suffice it to say that it isn't so easy for a select group of people and that I am their Patron Saint of Not Calling.

    If god sends me to hell for not calling my grandparents often enough? Pfffbt. Then he is no god of mine.

  • 4-star hotels.

  • Forgiveness.
    Even in all your notariety (sp?) you are underrated.

  • Dixie Chicks
    A. it is not my fault that their songs are so catchy.
    B. It is not my fault that I blared them from Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo non stop.
    C. I hold no responsibility for looking like a right idiot for singing along like a wide-mouth frog to tracks 1 through 12.
    D. If you were the Honda that passed me, pointed, laughed, and mocked me, just know this: Your time will come. Probably when your kids turn 13.

    oh oh. and p.s. finding a Fellow Flickr Female Photographer on a daily basis? EASY! Getting my fingers to type out the requisite HTML? Not so easy. But my heart is in the right place. You guys are just gonna have to trust me on that.

Monday, November 13, 2006

we were third and fourthSo, a little background here: San Luis has very few "late night" eateries. Basically every place shuts down at 10:00 (maybe 10:30) and all those late-night after-the-bar party kids? Out of luck!

A new place opened up just a couple of doors down from SLO Brew called Bel Frites -- fries fries and more fries. Fries with sea salt. Fries with garlic salt. Fries with season salt. Fries with Chipotle sauce. Fries with dill sauce. Fries with this and fries with that and I think you are starting to get the idea.

Somehow, Sunday afternoon, me and Steve wound up as this new place's third customers. There was a line waiting to get in the door (and, as said, this was the afternoon -- not even prime party-goer hour).

Within minutes Tom and Cami coincidentally wandered by, saw us in line and joined in. It was fun. The owner took our photo (all of us in that first few customer line) and said he's going to hang it on the wall.

So what did I think? Tasty! But I have a serious weekness for salty super fried things. The sauces were delicious (and have better names than how I put it above) and the owners were sweet. :) Good location. I think it'll do good. :) I hope so. Long live the mom-and-pop french fry shop!!! :)

Sunday, November 12, 2006


sunday equals...

...swapper to bishop's to new chair to new fry place to the angel marathon. and that's a lot of stuff.

I used to be one of those climb Bishops every day kinda girl. I used to be able to run about 3/4 of it. Used to used to used to. I hadn't been up it in what seems like a year. So me and steve joined Shane, Becky and Dan to power up Ye Ol Volcanic core. To say that I was bringing up the rear is an understatement (and not the metaphor you are thinking). I was LAGGING. My heart was a-pounding and I was a-panting. Note to self: work out once in a while self.

I love this picture of Becky. :) One of the few photos that I took and loved immediately right out of the camera (tho I did crop some sky). Really fun day. :)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

past its shell(f) life crushed
Evoking the power of compassion in us is not always easy.

I find myself that the simplest ways are the best and the most direct.

Every day, life gives us innumerable chances to open our hearts, if we can only take them. An old woman passes you with a sad and lonely face and two heavy plastic bags full of shopping she can hardly carry. Switch on a television, and there on the news is a mother in Beirut kneeling above the body of her murdered son, or an old grandmother in Moscow pointing to the thin soup that is her only food. . . .

Any one of these sights could open the eyes of your heart to the fact of vast suffering in the world.

Let it.

Don’t waste the love and grief it arouses.

In the moment you feel compassion welling up in you,
don’t brush it aside,
don’t shrug it off and try quickly to return to “normal,”
don’t be afraid of your feeling or be embarrassed by it, and
don’t allow yourself to be distracted from it.

Be vulnerable:

Use that quick, bright uprush of compassion—focus on it, go deep into your heart and meditate on it, develop it, enhance and deepen it. By doing this you will realize how blind you have been to suffering.

All beings, everywhere, suffer; let your heart go out to them all in spontaneous and immeasurable compassion.

— Sogyal Rinpoche

Friday, November 10, 2006

Fellow Female Flickr Photographer #7: Meeralee

Someone Else Entirely A half-remembered dream
Set: A Model Husband | Set: These Days
All photos shown above are created and owned by Meeralee

I love it when you can see a photographer's love and appreciation of their subject. A good example is in Meeralee's "A Model Husband" set. It's as if you can view her love and admiration of her husband. The way she captures a glance, a split second. It's very sweet and the photos are very good.

In addition, she has a great set where she showcases her latest favorite photos in her stream -- just twenty. I think that's a hard thing to create; how can you limit things to only twenty? Within that you can see what is important and meaningful to her -- or simply what has just caught her eye in a certain way.

» View meeralee's Flickr stream
» View her A Model Husband set
» View her These Days set

favorite thing ever: right was right

pfffffbt. i giggled while reading this list. here are but a few charmers...
Now that the election is behind us, and the Democrats control both houses of Congress, there's no reason not to admit it: the Right was right about us all along. Here is our 25-point manifesto for the new Congress:

4. Border fence replaced with free shuttle buses

14. Pledge of Allegiance in schools replaced with morning flag-burning

23. Ban Christmas: replace with Celebrate our Monkey Ancestors Day

24. Carter added to Mount Rushmore
» Check out the Right was right (you can add your own, too)

Right on America, uploaded and copyright by Laurie

Thursday, November 09, 2006


chevron, originally uploaded by emdot.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Fellow Female Flickr Photographer #6: Morran

Set: morran

Set: Stuffed | Set: Pictures and stuff
All photos shown above are created and owned by morran

I don't know Camilla, the keeper of Morran (her adorable dog) and the creator of great images, paintings, illustrations, and softies, but the photos of her craft, art, and aforementioned adorable dog heavily populate my favorite's folder.

If I ever get another dog, I hope to have a dog as cool as Morran. And I hope to be an as-cool dog owner.

» View morran's Flickr stream
» View her Morran set
» View her Stuffed set (for softies)
» View her Pictures and stuff set (for paintings and more)

No you can't have a pony

No you can't have a pony, originally uploaded by mathowie.

quoted from flickr central (from .bastion)

A digression, but I had to post this picture because it's plain hilarious. The rabidly anti-gay U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) lost his seat in the senate. This could have been a Norman Rockwell picture.

Santorum looks like he had just emerged from a long weekend of glory hole pleasure.The son looks like he's about to be hit by a truck, and the fact that the younger daughter is dressed like her doll makes me giggle. Were they dressing her like that to appeal to the Amish vote or something? It was even better to watch two elderly men hold up a BIG sign in front of the screen while Santorum conceded that read, 'PA REJECTS HATE'. Gold.
sigh. this picture made for real laugh out loud at my desk at lunch. ohmigod. perfection.

update: the doll's head spins!

Pollyanna and Suzy Sunshine Debut on the World Wide Web

A blog for gratitude started by two great flickr'rs! (one of whom was highlighted in these pages only days ago.).

run run run and check it out! ;)

things i need to remember

Is karma really so hard to see in operation? Don’t we only have to look back at our own lives to see clearly the consequences of some of our actions? When we upset or hurt someone, didn’t it rebound on us? Were we not left with a bitter and dark memory, and the shadows of self-disgust? That memory and those shadows are karma.

Our habits and our fears too are also due to karma, the results of our past actions, words, and thoughts. If we examine our actions, and become really mindful of them, we will see that there is a pattern that repeats itself.

Whenever we act negatively, it leads to pain and suffering;

whenever we act positively, it eventually results in happiness.

— Sogyal Rinpoche

Bishop's Peak at Sunset 2006

Bishop's Peak at Sunset 2006, originally uploaded by mayhem.

Classic SLO County shot! Taken from the top (near the top looks like) of Bishop's by SLO's own Rob Kaye. Check out more from his hike: he's got 13 pics in the set.

Oh, and good morning!

meanwhile, brezny really knows how to sweet talk a girl

VIRGO Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Sometimes, Virgo, you're too damn smart for your own good. You may describe a problem so brilliantly, for instance, that you think you've solved it merely by talking about it, and never get around to actually fixing it. On other occasions your fine mind runs amuck in an orgy of razor-sharp analysis, cutting things apart in order to understand them but not putting them back together again. I beg you not to indulge in these excesses during the coming week. Your intelligence will be soaring beyond even its usual exceptional levels, and it would be a shame for you not to capitalize on it momentously.

my favorite flickr comments

Can be found on this photo. Only five people (me included) have left comments, yet there are well over 100 comments here. It cracks me up. Maybe it's too much of an "in"side joke.... :)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Fellow Female Flickr Photographer #5: mygigi

tucked in searching, wondering, hiding
Set: DoF | Set: the evolution of my gigi
All photos shown above are created and owned by mygigi

How do you begin to talk about Gigi? She's ultra feminine with a very sharp edge. And when I say edge... how to explain... do you know what I mean when I say that beauty and fragility are in the most real and raw things? That's what I mean when I say edge here.

She's a classic beauty. Extremely pretty. But what I love about her is how she completely transcends her beauty. I think this is by a.) not taking herself that seriously (yet, never minimizing herself) and b.) showing herself without filters, despite whatever hardware may be attached to her camera.

I admire her. I respect her. And I love seeing the new images that pop up in her photostream. She recently took most of her photos private, but seems to be trickling them out to the masses again. So run, masses, run. And meet Gigi. You will be glad.

» View mygigi's Flickr stream
» View her Dof set
» View her the evolution ofmy gigi set

Monday, November 06, 2006

Fellow Female Flickr Photographer #4: jkonig

Set: Orange is the new black | Set: My muse is a parking lot
Both photos shown above are copyright jkonig

Meet Jen. Aka jkonig. AKA doesn't take herself seriously but will seriously leave funny and enouraging comments on your comment stream. Plus she likes to swear. I like people who like to swear, but typically only do so in happy, enthusiastic shouts of glee.

Plus, her freaking muse is a parking lot. How can you not love that?

» View jkonig's Flickr stream
» View her Orange is the new black set
» View her My muse is a parking lot set


hummer, originally uploaded by emdot.


whilst she who shall not be named enumerated all of the many good points of sandra bullock...

she who shall not be named: AND she has a two-legged dog!

he who shall not be named: Aw, just like Paul McCartney.... do NOT attribute that to me...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Fellow Female Flickr Photographer #3: Elizabeth Taylor

Set: Mad/Glad

Set: 10 Things | Or just visit her stream and see it all
All photos shown above are created and owned by Stephanie/Elizabeth Taylor

Okay, so me choosing Stephanie, aka Elizabeth Taylor, is kind of cheating because I consider her one of my bestest Flickr friends. In fact, just thinking of Mizz E to the T makes me smile.

Mad/Glad is pretty self explanatory. But her 10 things set is about gratitude and appreciating the little things. Well, I guess it helps when the "little" things are knock outs in their own right. Three cheers for gratefulness and beauty.

And don't forget the side of goof.

» View Elizabeth Taylor's Flickr stream
» View her Mad/Glad set
» View her 10 things set

northward bound

On the train again. This time going north; somewhere between Lompoc and Guadalupe. It is Sunday evening and the train is perfectly not-crowded.

Anthony is the man who works the Cafe cart. Anthony is nice and very upbeat and does his job very well. If you buy a Corona he makes sure to add a slice of lime. If you need something heated, he is, make no mistake, there to heat it up for you. But, despite the cheer and the fabulous aptitude, the thing that makes Anthony stand out and really shine, is that he is the Cafe Singer. If you are ever so lucky to be on the same train with Anthony, you will know because he will sing to you. You being the collective you of all the Amtrak passengers, as Anthony does his serenading over the loudspeaker. Typically, these are songs you've ever heard of (money has it songs that Anthony has never heard of either), and his lyrics sometimes make sense and typically have to do with
  1. train comfort
  2. beautiful scenery
  3. light blue ocean
  4. april showers
  5. and an open snack car
I love Anthony.

This afternoon, when I first boarded the train, it wasn't un-crowded. In fact, it was the very opposite of un-crowded (which happens to be, well, crowded.). I had to beg to sit next to a college co-ed who was studying for a class while her knitting took up the seat next to her. But she was sweet, put the needles away, and made room for me. But the thing was, I kinda wanted a seat by myself as well. And, I needed an electrical plug because my iPod was low and I was completely set on finishing the Bill Bryson audio book whilst I worked on knitting of my own.

Now here's the thing. I am late to reading Bill Bryson books and I am late to taking up knitting. I know. I didn't mean to be and, in fact, bought a Bryson book that I ended up giving away as a gift years ago. I also bought knitting needles and very cute yarn when my friend Carrie was pregnant with her son, Rainier, with the intention of making a super cute baby beanie for the tot-to-be's sure-to-be very cute head. Rainier is turning three this month. Carrie doesn't know about the knitting, of course, because at the time I didn't even learn how to cast on, much less knit two, pearl two. So, the needles and adorable yarn have spent the last 1000+ days in the back of my closet living a forgotten existence next to the linoleum block, the glue gun, and an assortment of feathers, beads, glitter and acrylic paints.

So, I am late to knitting. I was late to vegetarianism, too. Late to going to college, for getting my nose pierced, and to taking an interest in a career. I still don't have HBO. So, me taking up knitting three years after its peak shouldn't really surprise anyone.

This weekend I finished my first scarf. I don't think anyone wants to wear the damn thing — the yarn is too thick, the width is too thin and the length is too short. But it's a good color (a very nice green) and I'm proud of learning how to do it all on my own (well me and a 8.5 x 11 inch tri-folded instruction booklet with illustrations no bigger than your thumbnail.).

With the first scarf done I was still filled with knitting enthusiasm and, so, ventured into the deepest, darkest, dust-bunniest location of my "where I keep all my crap" closet to resurrect the very cute yarn and the very, very (incredibly, remarkably) tiny knitting needles.

While the yarn was still cute, there was not enough of it to make anything larger than a Barbie-sized beanie, and with ten hours of train ride ahead of me, I knew I was going to require more textiles than that. And that is when I remembered the alpaca wool. The alpaca wool — all 40 skeins of it — has a story in and of itself — which I may recount here in days to come, but it isn't really part of this story. No. This story isn't how I got the alpaca wool (in a fit of luck for $40 while still in college), or what I did with it (crocheted a king-size afghan for an unappreciative recipient), how I got it back or how it came to no longer be a crocheted king-size afghan. No, this bit is about the amalgamation and/or sum and/or consequences of combining very fine, slippery alpaca wool with very fine incredibly eensy teeny tiny eeny weeny even slipperyer knitting needles. And that outcome would be knit and redo; knit and redo. Knit and redo. Knit and redo. Knit and swear. Knit and redo. Knit and kick your neighbor. Knit and redo. In fact, knit and pearl? Meet fit and hurl.

fit and hurl

So after pulling out entire rows and rows and rows of very "homegrown" looking craftwork, I gave in (but not up!) and decided to politely "fuck it" and just let my haphazard, slipped, missing and inconsistent stitches simply "be." And so now I find myself really proud of my 2.5 x 12 inch scarf that took five hours to create (minus stitch ripping out time) and I look forward to doing even more haphazard, homegrown, crafty knitting in future train rides. At this rate I expect to give it to Rainier as a present for his tenth birthday.

However, maybe before it's finished I will show it to Anthony down in the Cafe car. He seems like the type who might appreciate my efforts. And who knows? Maybe I’ll even get a song out of it.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

You could always phone me...

Fellow Female Flickr Photographer #2: Mary Jane 2040

Set: Call me | Set: 5 mintues
Both photos shown above were photographed MaryJane 2040. She uses a Creative Commons license. Please respect it.

Rachel is waiting for you to call her. :) Also check out her 5 Minutes set.

I think I know her from Utata, I don't remember not knowing her on Flickr, but I'm guessing I was introduced to her work via Utata (as I am with so many great photographers.). What gets me with MJ 2040's stream is her raw and offbeat approach to most things. And this raw and offbeat approach creates the tenderest of photos whether they are meant to be tender or not. Check her out.

» View Mary Jane 2040's Flickr stream
» View her Call Me set
» View her 5 minutes set

good morning

good morning, originally uploaded by emdot.

today i slept

and knitted. and listened to bill bryson. but mostly i slept. and it was a beautiful thing.

it's not like i had a choice, though. my eyes were not capable of the "be open" thing. same as my body was not capable of the "be awake" thing and my brain was not capable of the "follow a thought" thing. instead it was sleep-dream. wake up. knit. sleep dream wake up knit. repeat many times. sprinkle with intermittent listening to bill bryson who is my new hero.

i think most people who have spent an entire day sleeping know the little fear that can creep into the back of your head that says "if i keep sleeping i will not be able to sleep."

yes, that thought did cross my mind. but as it crossed it i realized i could probably stay in bed all day and night and still be sleepy tomorrow morning. so, i pushed that worry away.


steve and i went to the griffith park observatory today. we were really excited about it, especially since there were limited spots available. lmited usually implying "fewer people than one would normally encounter at griffith park."

not so, i'm afraid. the place was packed. packered than pack, actually. and we were both stoked to be there but i think we were equally both stoked to discover that the other was ready to leave early. it was just too crowded. and we were hungry. and me hungry? that is nothing pleasant. that makes me cranky and sensitive and more tired and did i say cranky?

i dare say we almost got into our first fight and would have had i not surfaced briefly from my hunger stupor to see my stupidity.

so we went to dinner (asian fusion place that servers some chinese, some sushi and some thai, all at once if you so wish) and it was delicious and i washed all my crankiness away with two glasses of sierra nevada pale ale.

sierra nevada pale ale can cure damn near anything i think.

tomorrow = more griffith park (travel town? merry-go-round? autry museum? picnic?) and then it's back on the train for me.

Friday, November 03, 2006

paw sunday

paw sunday, originally uploaded by emdot.

Yesterday I was home sick – didn’t get out of my pajamas, in fact – which meant that I was subjected to both the joy of daytime tv (Oprah and some Ellen) and the bane that is daytime TV (everything that isn’t Oprah or Ellen.)

Oprah’s guest was Dr. Oz which was serendipitous for me as I have recently started a health kick complete with eating better, eating less, and moving more. My goal is to lose 20 pounds – yes that is right two-oh – by January one.

Now I know deep down that this is a bit of a ridiculous goal. One, I’ve never lost 20 pounds in my life. The most I have ever lost, in fact was 15 pounds and that was quite the achievement. Two, it is the holidays. November and December. And we are all intimate with the sabotage of the fudge and eggnog roadside gut bombs, not to mention the pumpkin pie suicide bomber and the Great Stuffing and Gravy insurgency.

Three, it’s only nine weeks. Which means that I would need to lose just about 2.5 pounds per week.

Yet, still, I feel like if I don’t aim high (and/or atmospherically) it won’t feel real, it won’t feel pressing, it won’t feel important and/or I will simply forget that I am on this health kick and go back to my one-million-calorie a day ways and honey could you pass the remote.

(Aside: the remote part. That was purely used for writing filler; I’m no couch potato. I am however, an ardent mouse potato sometimes only spurred to action when my DSL goes down or Flickr goes down or my email goes down or any combination of the three).

Anyhow. At home. Sick. Daytime TV. Oprah and Ellen. And Oprah’s guest was Dr. Oz who (if you haven’t seen him before), looks like a Ken doll but has an enthusiasm only surpassed by Richard Simmons. Dr. Oz is excited. Dr. Oz in knowledgeable and Dr. Oz wants to share his excitement and knowledge with you. Especially when it comes to eating right and walking.

And me? I was happy to soak it up.

sunset, amtrak style, take one.

sunset, amtrak style, take one., originally uploaded by emdot.

off to jump on a train... more later!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sharing the Flickr Love — All Month Long

For the month of November I will be featuring a fellow female flickr photographer. I wasn't trying to descriminate against the guys (and probably I have more photographs from men represented in my favorites than from women, for whatever reason), but I love my female flickr contacts so much I wanted to showcase some of them here. I missed yesterday, so I'll be taking this through December 1.

So, with no further ado...

Fellow Female Flickr Photographer #1: LunaSol

Set: Squirrel Antics | Set: Fog/Rain
Both photos shown above are copyright LunaSol

Martha has been a contact of mine for a long time. She is a great and positive contact to have, leaving the nicest comments and being very encouraging. Her stream easily wanders from nature to nurture, the every day and the extraordinary.

» View LunaSol's Flickr stream
» View her Squirrel Antics set
» View her Fog/Rain set


it was very short (1.5 seconds tops). one of those where i thought, "shoot, that could have been fun."


ooooooh, originally uploaded by emdot.

here's the deal

I don't really see myself as a person who gets sick easily. In fact, I feel pretty hearty. I feel pretty "bring it on suckahs cuz I'm not going to catch your lame virus; your silly bacteria."

But, since working at the university, I've kind of gotten sick a lot. Or it feels like it. Only one really knock-me-down-can't-get up sickness, but quite a few of little other ones that just leave me either exhausted or singularly keeping the Kleenex brand in the black.

Today is one of those days. And it really started yesterday with the chills and then being hot hot hot but cold at the same time (how does that happen?). And today it feels like there may be a tiny furnace a-lighting in my lungs. No. No, I say. No. I don't want to be sick. I have things to do.


When I was self-employed for two years I did not get sick once. Not once. In hindsight I chalk that up to not working full time (plenty of time to rest, plenty of time to be outside and get fresh air), not being in a poorly ventilated office, not working with a lot of other people who were also getting sick.

The beauty of my current work sitch is that there is a huge open window and three fans that keep things well-ventilated. BUT there are thousands of students and thousands of staff and faculty and only so many elevator buttons that are being pushed by all of them.

Note to self: wash hands more often.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

7 mares

7 mares, originally uploaded by emdot.

Taking life seriously does not mean spending our whole lives meditating as if we were living in the Himalaya Mountains or in the old days in Tibet. In the modern world, we have to work to earn our living, but we should not get entangled in a nine-to-five existence, where we live without any view of the deeper meaning of life.

Our task is to strike a balance, to find a middle way, to learn not to overextend ourselves with extraneous activities and preoccupations, but to simplify our lives more and more. The key to finding a happy balance in modern life is simplicity.

— Sogyal Rinpoche