2011-12-19

Fun Times

Well, we had a bit of an unexpected Sunday evening. We had our friend Aron over to do our hair, and we made waffles and it was great. Aron left, and we made dinner, an awesome Thai Chicken Curry Soup, and we had cleaned up and were working on laundry.

I had put a load in the wash, and had brought part of it back, and was going to get a small load I had put in the dryer. As I was leaving the back door, I was pulling the door shut, and the glass doorknob on the back door sheared off and gashed my finger open.

In any case, we rinsed it out, put hydrogen peroxide on it, and a cotton swab on it, wrapped with a paper towel, rented a Zipcar, and drove up to Providence hospital nearby. It wasn't bleeding that badly with pressure on it, and they got us into a room pretty quickly, but we had to wait quite a while for a doctor, considering this was about 11:15pm at this point.

We passed the time by amusing ourselves with the room we were in.

Photo0269 Photo0270

We decided the drawing board should say Dr. Evil, and that after getting his lab results, his plan should be to take over the world, but Trina wouldn't write it down for him:

Photo0271

The little symbols on the pedals on the bed looked like they were different methods of ejection:

Photo0272

We finally resorted to turning the TV on, and after deciding to pass on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, low and behold, there was The Empire Strikes Back - which we got to watch from about the time where Luke lands on Dagobah to when he leaves to go try to rescue Han, Leia and Chewbacca.

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In the end, they numbed my finger, put a few stitches in, put some gauze on it, and sent me home. We got home at about 1:45am, and Trina went to get the laundry I had originally been going to get when I cut my finger. We went to bed, and that's that. An eventful Sunday evening.

Here's a little triptych to commemorate the occasion:

triptych

2011-12-09

New Cups

There is a new pottery studio that just opened up about 4 blocks away from our apartment, and last weekend and this weekend, they had a pottery sale going on, so we decided to walk over after Patrina finished work this evening.

We didn't really expect to buy anything, necessarily, but we couldn't pass up these two beautiful cups, made by Joshua Kovarik (http://jkovarikart.blogspot.com, http://kovarikpottery.etsy.com).

New Cups New Cups New Cups New Cups

They will happily replace a couple of old cups that are currently in our cupboard, and we are enjoying nice, hot drinks out of them as we speak.

After the pottery show, we rode our bikes about 4 blocks more to have Phở at the Vietnamese restaurant near us, then rode about another 4 blocks to the pâtisserie to get a small dessert, and then just the few blocks home from there.

I love our neighborhood.

Politics in the U.S.

Apparently Rick Perry believes that insulting and oppressing the citizens of the country he wants to be president of, while at the same time telling people that they aren't allowed to pray or celebrate Christmas is the best way to win the election.

I think he would have been better off if he had run this ad, instead:

And for a little extra fun, here's some Jon Stewart :)

2011-12-06

New Things

As we move through life, we inevitably change, grow, get bored, explore, move on to new things... I find that for myself, I love change, I get bored easily, and I love to discover new inspiration and new, exciting things. For me lately, that's been a beginning dip into the realm of hip-hop. It's been exciting to hear new sounds, find new personalities, and get into a whole part of culture that I've never really been exposed to much before.

One of the most compelling artists I've run across so far, both musically and personally, is Shawn Carter, more widely known as Jay-Z. I'm not going to go into all his story, as you can easily find that elsewhere (here, here and here are good starts), but suffice it to say, I think he's a brilliant person, not to mention an amazing artist.
Here are the lyrics to the above song (using one verse and the chorus from Alphaville's "Forever Young"):

Let’s dance in style,
Let’s dance for a while,
Heaven can wait we’re only watching the skies
Hoping for the best but expecting the worst,
Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?
Let us die young or let us live forever,
We don’t have the power but we never say never,
Sitting in a sandpit,
Life is a short trip,
The music’s for the sad man

Forever young,
I wanna be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever
Forever young I wanna be
Forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever, forever

[Jay-Z Ad Lib]
May the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows, but we ain't even thinking that far, you know what I mean?

[Jay-Z]
So we livin' life like a video
When the sun is always out and you never get old
and the champagne’s always cold
and the music is always good
and the pretty girls just happen to stop by in the hood
and they hop their pretty ass up on the hood of dat pretty ass car
without a wrinkle in today
cuz there is no tomorrow
just some picture perfect day
that lasts a whole lifetime
and it never ends
cos all we have to do is hit rewind
so lets just stay in the moment, smoke some weed,
drink some wine,
reminisce talk some shit forever young is in your mind
leave a mark they can’t erase neither space nor time
so when the director yells cut,
I’ll be fine,
I’m forever young…

[chorus]

[Jay-Z]
Fear not when, fear not why,
fear not much while were alive,
life is for living not living uptight,
Until you're somewhere up in the sky,
fear not die, I’ll be alive for a million years, bye byes
Are not for legends, I’m forever young
my name shall survive
through the darkest blocks, over kitchen stoves,
over Pyrex pots, my name shall be passed down to generations while debating up in barber shops,
young slung, hung here,
Showed that a nigga from here
with a little ambition just what we can become here,
and as the father passed his story down to his sons ears,
younger get younger every year, yeah
so if you love me baby this is how you let me know.
don’t ever let me go, that's how you let me know, baby

[chorus]

[Jay-Z]
Slammin' Bentley doors,
hoppin' out of Porsches,
popping up on Forbes' list,
Gorgeous,
hold up,
niggas thought I lost it,
they be talking bullshit
I be talking more shit
they nauseous,
hold up,
I'll be here forever
you know, I’m on my four shit,
and I ain’t with foreclosure, I will never forfeit,
less than four bars,
Guru bring the chorus in,
did you get the picture yet,
I’m painting you a portrait of Young…

[Chorus]
[End]

Some thoughts: I look at this song as a progression - a progression in life and a progression in attitude, and a progression in perception. I see the first verse as being a bit tongue-in-cheek from his position - but also a realization that this kind of a picture of life is appealing, and that we all hold this kind of view, even if subconsciously, when we're young.

I think the second verse brings a lot of the meat of the song - and helps to define what his idea of living forever is. You make a difference in the world big enough that you never leave. In his case, part of that difference is to show that a poor kid from Brooklyn who grows up with a broken family, dealing crack from his teenage years can turn his life around, make something of himself, grow as a person, and ultimately be an example for other another generation of people starting out where he was.

I think the third verse has to do with people feeling like he 'sold out' because he got rich, famous, etc - but that he is still as serious about what he was serious about, that he's living in order to set an example (this is a theme throughout his music - including the name of the album this song is on - The Blueprint).

I just find this fantastic, because he has a unique place to speak to some people who really need to know that they can figure out who they are and do something with it. For that matter, most people in the world need to hear that at some point in their lives.

I think we all want to be remembered for how we changed the world, here's motivation to not slack off.

2011-08-09

Dr. Worm

2011-05-22

The End of the World

If I knew the world was ending tomorrow, I would sit on the couch cuddling my cats and go to bed with my wife as I would any other day, and thank God that I had this life. I have nothing more to ask for, and I want nothing more than this.

2011-05-19

Living well...

Regardless of your beliefs on afterlife, I'm pretty sure the best way to feel ok about dying is to live well.

Faith

I think people tend to forget that in faith, by definition, there is an element of unknown. It's not faith if you "believe" in a dictionary you wrote.

2011-05-02

Wisdom of the Sands - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This is chapter 32 from the book Wisdom of the Sands (or Citadel, in its original French).

That year died he who reigned beyond the eastern marches of my empire. Many a hard battle had I joined with him, and therewith I had come to understand that I leaned on him as on a wall. Still can I recall our meetings. A scarlet tent was pitched out in the desert, and each of us made his way into the tent, leaving his army afar - for it is not well for the men to mingle together. The crowd lives only in and for its belly. And shallow gilding flakes all too easily away. Thus warily they gazed at us, standing to their arms for prudence’ sake, and not to be beguiled by any insidious softening of their mood. For wise was my father when he said: "Forgather not with your adversary on the ground level, but in the topmost tower of his heart and soul and mind. Else, by seeking to find common ground in your tawdrier emotions, you will come to shedding blood, needlessly."

Thus, taking to heart his counsel, I went forth to meet my man, stripped of superfluities and fenced by threefold walls of solitude. We sat down on the sand, facing each other. I know not which of us two was the more powerful; but in that sanctuary of solitude, power became measure; for though our gestures shook the world, we measured them.

Sometimes we fell to speaking of the grazing grounds. "I have twenty-five thousand head of cattle dying," he would say, and add: "The rains were good in your country, I am told." But I could not suffer them to import their alien customs, and doubts that breed corruption. Those shepherds from another world - how could I admit them into my empire?

"We," I said, "have twenty-five thousand young children who must learn the prayers of their own people and not another’s; else will they grow awry."

So we had recourse to the arbitrament of war, and we were like tides flowing and ebbing, but neither gaining ground. And though each brought his full weight to bear, neither yielded; because we both were primed to the utmost, each hardening his enemy by defeat. "You have gained a victory; thereby am I grown the stronger."

Not that I misesteemed his greatness, or the hanging gardens of his capital, or the perfumes sold by his merchants, or the delicate craftsmanship of his goldsmiths, or his great dams for the storing of water. Only a small mind traffics in scorn; a mind whose truth accords no place to others’. But we who knew that different truths can coexist thought not that we were lowering ourselves by countenancing another’s truth, unpalatable though it might seem. An apple tree does not, to my knowledge, scorn the cedar, or the palm tree, or the vine; but each toughens itself to the utmost and mingles not its roots. Thus it retains its form and selfhood, a capital inestimable, which it were unbecoming to debase.

"True bartering," he was wont to say, "means the box of spikenard, or the seedling; it is the gift of golden cedar-wood that imparts the fragrance of my house to yours. Or, it may be, my war cry when it reaches you from my mountains. Or, perchance, the coming of an ambassador, if he has long been trained and shaped and tested, and he both rejects you and takes you to his heart. He rejects you on his lower levels; but on the heights where human esteem rises above hatred, he finds common ground with you. The only esteem worth having is an enemy’s; for that of friends is worthless unless it be something higher than their kind regards or the trivial emotions of the marketplace. Die for your friend if you will, but pity not yourself therefor."

Thus I would lie, were I to say I had a friend in him. Nevertheless, always we met with deep-felt joy - but here words would lead astray by reason of men’s pettiness. My joy was not for him, but for God; he was a bridge leading towards God, and our meetings were keystones of the arches. And our silences were understanding.

May God forgive me for weeping when he died! Too well I knew it, my sorrow’s flaw. Surely, I told myself, it is because I am not yet pure enough that I shed these tears. Whereas I pictured him, had I been first to die, simply walking forth into the vastness of the desert twilight and contemplating the great change that had come on our world as calmly as he watched the shadows gathering. Or as a drowning man when the world changes under the slumbrous mirror of the waters. "O Lord," would he have prayed to his God, "the day dawns and the night falls according to Thy will. But nothing has been lost of the sheaf that has been gathered up, of the epoch that has passed away. I have been..." Thus he would have gathered me into his peace ineffable. But I was not pure enough, nor as yet feign enough of things eternal. Like a woman, I still felt that vague melancholy which comes when the evening wind withers the flowers in my rose-garden. For in my roses it withers me, and I, too, die in them.

In the course of my life I had deposed statesmen, buried my captains, won women and lost them; and I had left about the world a host of vestiges of myself, as a snake leaves its sloughed-off skins. Nevertheless, as punctually as returns the sun ruling the tides of light and dark, or summer ruling the year’s fruition, even so from colloquy to colloquy, from one treaty to another, did my men-at-arms pitch that empty tent far off in the desert. And every year we repaired to it, he and I. Thus arose a hallowed custom, and ever I saw that smile of his, crinkled like old vellum, and his serenity as death drew near. And that silence which is not of man, but God’s.

But now I was alone, sole trustee of my past, with none left to bear witness to my works and days. Or to those activities which I had not deigned to unbare to my people, but which he, my neighbor in the East, had understood; all those heart searchings which never had I paraded before others but in his silence he had discerned. Those responsibilities which had all but overwhelmed me and of which none of my people had even an inkling (for it was well that they should think I gave my every whim free rein), but which he, my neighbor in the East, had weighed, never with fellow-feeling but with fine aloofness; for he judged these matters quite otherwise than I. And now behold he was sleeping in the glittering cerement of the sand, having drawn it over him as a shroud. Silence had enwrapped him, and on his lips was taking form that final smile, forlorn yet God-enkindled, of a man who is content with having bound up his sheaf, his eyes closed on their treasure.

In my discomfiture how much was due to self-esteem! Weak as I was, I ascribed high importance to the course of my destiny, though it had none at all; I rated the empire in terms of myself instead of sinking myself into the empire, and I saw my life like a long track steadily rising towards the peak I had attained.

That night, on the lonely table-land, I stood at a parting of the ways: after climbing to the heights I must now begin the long descent. For the first time I knew that I was old; all men seemed strangers, there were no familiar faces left. I felt detached from all, now that I was growing detached from myself. On that upward slope I had abandoned, one by one, my captains, my loves, my enemies, and perchance my only friend. Henceforth I was alone in a world peopled by men I knew no more.

Yet, dark as was the hour, I found strength to take up life again. "I have broken through my last husk," I told myself, "and now I shall step forth the purer. I had rated myself too high, and because I was growing soft this trial has been sent me. For I was puffing myself up with ignoble fancies; but now will I be able to enshrine him, my dead friend, for ever in his majesty, nor will I weep for him. Simply - he will have been. And the sand will seem to me the richer, since often in the vastness of this desert I have seen him smile. And for me all men’s smiles will be enriched by that one man’s smile; for I shall see in Man that secret image which no sculptor has been able to wrest forth from the stone enshrouding it. Across the unhewn block I shall discern Man’s countenance the better for having looked one man straight in the eyes.

"True, I am treading now the downward slope; but have no fear, my people. I have restored the broken link. Ill was it that I should have depended on a man. The hand which healed me and sewed up my wound is no more, but the suture remains. As I descend my mountain I pass sheep and lambs. And fondle them. I am alone in the world under God’s providence, but when I fondle lambs which open the wellsprings of the heart, I am caressing not so much these little creatures nuzzling my hand as all the weakness of mankind; and thus I return to you."

As for that other king, I have throned him in majesty; I have immortalized him in death. Every year a tent is pitched in the desert, while my people pray. My armies stand to arms, their guns are primed, my horsemen range the desert keeping watch and ward, and any intruder venturing within the precinct is beheaded. Alone, I walk forward to the tent, then lift the flap and sit down on the sand. And all is silence.

Friendship

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.
"Please – tame me!" he said.
"I want to, very much," the little prince replied. "But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand."
"One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox. "Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me…"
"What must I do, to tame you?" asked the little prince?
"You must be very patient," replied the fox. "First you will sit down at a little distance from me – like that – in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day…"

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose..."
"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

Friendship is not something to be entered into lightly. It's a long, heavy process (though it also can be very fun and exciting at the same time), and if you're serious about it, it leaves you at a place where the person or persons you have befriended are important to you, not because they give you something, but because you have given them something.

This is why it should not be entered lightly. Because at the end, you have given parts of yourself to each other, and extricating yourself from those ties is often painful and damaging, in a way that often requires grieving - even if there was no falling out between people. You cannot simply sever the ties and move on. You are responsible for the person with whom you have shared life, even if this means the responsibility of working with them to end a relationship.

That being said, we cannot live properly without connection to other human beings, and so, friendship - you could even say love (romantic or otherwise) - is an essential part of our experience here, even though it is often very difficult and painful.

"Only the children know what they are looking for," said the little prince. "They waste their time over a rag doll and it becomes very important to them; and if anybody takes it away from them, they cry..."

"They are lucky," the switchman said.

2011-04-28

Language, and our perception of things.

I was just kind of mulling over something I had read from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, talking about how we tend to feel a fondness for the past, because the language that we use was created to describe what was, not what is (because how can you ever describe what is, when it's changing instantaneously and constantly becoming what was) or what will be (since that's all just speculation).

This got me thinking a lot about language and our perception of things, and how they influence each other. It's a little bit difficult to think about expounding on this, as I have a feeling it gets way into our subconscious, but here are some thoughts.

I think that language plays a huge role in how we perceive the world around us. Our language reflects not only the physical objects and environment of the past (even if it's just some moments past), but also reflects feelings, thoughts, and cultural values that were shared by the people who have come before us, sometimes hundreds and hundreds of years before we were born. Not only the words that are available to use, but the grammatical structure, the usage of words and the sounds that make up a language reflect the people who have used the language. For instance, common modern English makes heavy use of the subjunctive mood in order to soften a sentence and make it feel more "polite". The Lithuanian language also has the subjunctive mood, but it is used much less commonly, and people are more apt to just state plainly what they do or don't want, what they are doing, what they want to see happen. The English sentence "If you could stop here, that would be great" would likely appear in common use in Lithuania as "Sustokite čia," or "stop here". This is just a product of their culture, and is not considered blunt or rude there, it is just how most people use language. You can see however, how these two different paradigms of usage reflect somewhat different views of how people ought to relate to each other, and certainly growing up with one paradigm will shape how you do, in fact, relate to other people.

Our minds think concrete thoughts by way of language. This is why so much effort was put into controlling and shaping language, for instance, by Soviet Russia, to name one instance. The idea is that, if you can control the language which a person has at their disposal, you can change what they are able to concretely think, what ideas they are able to express, and in turn, how they view the world.

There is a bit of a chicken/egg issue here though. Language is clearly not a static thing. Though in some languages, modern people can still read texts from half a century ago, language is always changing, and especially now with cultures interacting like they never have before, you see Japanese for instance, which has previously been a very homogenous language and culture, starting to feature Japanese-ized versions of English words. English is now a mixture of German, French, Spanish, Dutch and who knows what else. The physical world changes, and so our language must change to describe new things, new inventions, new discoveries.

Another issue at play here is that not all of our awareness of ourselves is contained within the words we know. Clearly we feel and are aware of things we cannot express in words, but we feel compelled to, and in some cases, this results in new language, people who are creative with expression in the form of words, who change what is possible with the language they know, or invent new language to fill in what their existing language lacked. I'm not sure if this kind of thing often changes language as a whole, I suppose it depends on the circumstance. Shakespeare, for instance, I'm sure changed the course of the English language, even if slightly.

Anyway, I could probably write hundreds of pages on this if I were to look at all the social and cultural influences, globalization, mass media, the internet... which I'm not going to do on my blog (or probably elsewhere, in reality). But I find it really fascinating to think about language and the roll it plays in our lives - I think many of us take language, and the usage of language, for granted, but I do really believe that our language effects us more than we realize.

2011-04-22

Easter

If there is any single "real" meaning of Easter, it is simply a celebration of life and the fertility of the earth, the renewal of things. Looking at the linguistic etymology, it is probably the celebration of a particular ancient Germanic goddess, a Germanic form of the proto-indo-european goddess of the dawn.

But that's not that important in and of itself. Mainly what I want to say is, before you go around talking about celebrating the "real" meaning of some holiday or tradition, think about whether there really is any single "real" meaning in an objective sense, or simply the meaning that you have ascribed to it for yourself. There is no problem with ascribing your own meaning to an event or tradition, in fact, it's probably a good thing. But to then go around parading that as the "real" meaning is a bit arrogant, I feel.

2011-04-21

One day...

One day I will die;
I may be eaten
by earthworms
caught for fishing;
the snare that caught
the trout
a man will use
to feed his family.

Nothing ever really goes away.

2011-04-17

Re-arranging

Within the last few weeks, we've nearly completely re-arranged our living room, as well as making our spare room a workable craft/sewing room for Trina. It's the usual Spring mix-everything-up time :)

Re-arranged

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2011-04-15

Sometimes you have one of those moments...

...where life seems really, inexpressibly beautiful.

I had one this morning. I can't even really explain why it impacted me so much, as the circumstances viewed objectively are quite mundane.

It was another in a long string of steadily rainy, cold, gloomy spring mornings, and I was riding to work with my poncho on (which I typically don't do unless it's raining pretty hard, to give you some perspective). The traffic light crossing 12th at Irving wasn't co-operating, I couldn't get it to detect my bike, so rather than blow the light, I decided to turn right and go down through the Lloyd District to the Steel Bridge.

I was cruising across the lower deck of the bridge, just above the water, and there were two women in a crew boat on the river, gliding across the water. Somehow it just struck me as magic that they were seemingly effortlessly sitting on top of the water and pushing themselves across it, as if humans were made to do exactly that.

That's it. For whatever reason, that moment just hit me strongly with an "isn't life amazing?" feeling.

And really, it is.

2011-04-10

Life is persistent

I was asleep, but my wife got me well awake, and then fell asleep herself, and now I can't get back to sleep, so here I am. I've just been thinking lately how much I love the fact that life is persistent. This is something that has become really apparent to us from growing vegetables and things, as well as certain food projects like fermenting and culturing things. The world is just bursting at the seams with life. Life begets life, without much external effort to help it out.

It helps to balance out the strange truth that some things must needs die in order for other things to live. This helps me to be thankful for those things - I appreciate that reality, and I appreciate the life that is given to sustain my own.

Life is a strange and wonderful thing.

2011-04-06

New Life

In better news, Opal, the Jersey Cow we were getting our fresh milk from just calved today!

calf

What a beautiful baby calf!

So, Opal should be milking again very shortly, which means more fresh milk for us!

Tricky

It kills me how easily I can hurt people sometimes. How I don't always honor the trust those close to me give me. Getting closer to someone means opening up, and when you open up further to someone, you place a certain amount of trust in them, because the more you open up, the easier it is for them to hurt you. I try to be mindful of that, but I'm not always successful, and I apologize for that. Thanks to those of you that know me, and especially my dear wife, for being willing to trust me, even though I don't always deserve it. It means the world to me.

2011-04-05

Are we defending life?

"Are we defending life
When we just pick and choose
Lives acceptable to lose
And which ones to defend?"

-Derek Webb

There are so many "acceptable" casualties every day it makes my head spin. From wars to traffic to something as seemingly simple to remedy as starvation.

How is it that so many of those are made acceptable by nothing more than our desire for convenience and our ability to take what we want?

Glen Phillips - Duck and Cover



Someone's in the backyard banging on the door
Daddy's gone away, he's coming back no more
His baby's curled up on a stranger's floor
Momma's thinking family dinners weren't too much to ask for

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
But getting over it, that takes the work

One way or the other we'll all need each other
Nothing's gonna turn out the way you thought it would
Friends and lovers, don't you duck and cover
Cause everything comes out the way it should

Blessed are the humble, blessed are the meek
Blessed are the hungry, blessed are the weak
Blessed are the ones on the other side
And blessed are we just for being alive

One day I stopped wanting anything at all
The heavens opened up like a waterfall
No use in worrying about when it ends
Just for now be thankful for what I get

One way or another a man's gonna suffer
Makes no difference the way you wanted it
But friends and lovers, don't you duck and cover
Cause everything comes out the way it should in the end

Seems like life is a palindrome
Cry when you die, cry when you're born
In between it's all about the ups and downs
Add them all together, they'll cancel each other out

One way or another, one way or another
You won't get what you wanted, but you'll get enough for sure
One way or another, the winter pays for the summer
Won't get what you wanted, but what you got'll be good

Someone's in the backyard banging on the door
Daddy's gone away, he's coming back no more
His baby's curled up on a stranger's floor
Momma's thinking happy endings weren't too much to ask for

2011-04-04

Make a joyful noise...

I have so much to be joyful about. I feel tentative about letting go and feeling it - there are a lot of things that could go wrong at any moment. Still, why not rejoice when there is good reason for it? So I'm working on letting myself, bit by bit. It's harder than I'd expect, but very good.

2011-03-29

Good Music

U2's album Achtung Baby! spawned two of my favorite songs by any band: One, and Love is Blindness.



2011-03-24

Bright Eyes - Classic Cars



She was a real royal lady, true patron of the arts
She said the best country singers die in the back of classic cars
So if I ever got too hungry for a suitcase or guitar
To think of them all alone in the dark
So I laid some nights beside her in a bed made for a queen
She said I kissed her different, that all the men her age were mean
Gave me anything I wanted, Oh the generosity
I took all that I could, it was free
Now the sky is a torn up denim and the clouds are just splattered paint
It's a room I'm renovating; it's a name I got to change
If I get out of California I'm going back to my home state
To tell them all that I made a mistake

And I keep looking for that blindfold faith
Lighting candles to a cynical saint
Who wants the last laugh at the fly trapped in the windowsill tape
You can go right out of your mind trying to escape
From the panicked paradox of day to day
If you can't understand something then it's best to be afraid

The whole world it loves you if you are a chic chameleon
Intersecting circles she could hang with anyone
But when conducting business she would lie about where she's from
Saying, "Life is how it is not how it was"
I learned to listen felt like I was back at school
She'd talk forever about the phases of the moon
Saying, "Everything is a cycle, you've got to let it come to you
And when it does, you will know what to do"
Without even knowing I guess I took her advice
Painted her front door it seemed a suitable goodbye
It's not that often but I think of her sometimes
Just something quaint, a couple ships in the night

And they keep moving at a glacial pace
Turning circles in a memory maze
I made a new cast of the death mask that is gonna cover my face
I had to change the combination to the safe
Hide it all behind a wall let people wait
And never trust a heart that is so bent it can't break

2011-03-17

Everyone is a genius.

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." -albert einstein

2011-03-15

John Lennon - God



God is a concept
By which we measure
Our pain

I'll say it again

God is a concept
By which we measure
Our pain

I don't believe in magic,
I don't believe in I-ching,
I don't believe in bible,
I don't believe in tarot,
I don't believe in Hitler,
I don't believe in Jesus,
I don't believe in Kennedy,
I don't believe in Buddha,
I don't believe in mantra,
I don't believe in Gita,
I don't believe in yoga,
I don't believe in kings,
I don't believe in Elvis,
I don't believe in Zimmerman,
I don't believe in Beatles,
I just believe in me,

Yoko and me
And that's reality.

The dream is over,
What can I say?

The dream is over,
Yesterday
I was the dreamweaver,
But now I'm reborn

I was the walrus,
But now I'm John

And so dear friends,
You just have to carry on,
The dream is over.

I'm really relating to the overall atmosphere and idea of this song these days. From my point of view, he is saying a few things here: this world is not for "saving" - it's wasting your life spending all your time on the future, dreaming about a life to come and waiting around for someone or something to save you from who and where you are, to make things better, whether that be a religious figure, politician, celebrity. What matters is who you are, right now, this moment, and what you're going to do with that. No delusions of grandeur or assumed identities, just you, stripped to your basic self, and the life that you have. What will you do with it?

2011-02-21

My own closet

We had previously had a vanity in our bedroom that was lightly used except to hold some of Trina's jewelry and had just a few little things in the small drawers. We decided what would be more useful for us, is to expand on the small closet space we have, and replace the vanity with a wardrobe. So, I now have my own closet!

My own closet

It's a 1920's or 1930's art-deco wardrobe. It is almost exactly as wide as the vanity was, and shallower, so it fits into the same space well, but provides us a more useful space to store things, and it's pretty :)

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And, it was another opportunity to clean things out, assess what we really needed/wanted to keep, and then get rid of a few things, and re-arrange the others in a more useful/decorative way. It's nice being able to use some of our clothing (hats, scarves, etc) and some of Trina's jewelry as decoration, at the same time as conveniently arranging it in our room.

My own closet

And now I have all my clothes in one spot, including my neckties and belts, and the wardrobe even has a small lock with a little key, that still works :)

My own closet

My own closet

Well, that's all for today :) Cheers!

2011-02-15

Happy and Sad

I'm not sure that the emotional states of being happy and sad are things which we should attempt to attain or avoid. I think, rather, we should try to attain a personal centeredness and strength which allows us to accept the emotional states of happy and sad as they come, without being swept away by them.

Attempting always to be happy, and always to avoid being sad - or vice versa - seems exceptionally unhealthy to me.

2011-02-11

Tea, and stuff.

We live in a wonderful neighborhood. It's a really weird mix of residential, industrial and commercial buildings, with some mix, of course (what were houses, now housing commercial businesses, and commercial businesses occupying what used to be industrial buildings).

In any case, in a building a few blocks away from us that was originally a bakery, a tea shop (The Jasmine Pearl) opened up back in October. They have been doing wholesale tea sales for some years, but just opened up a storefront, in which you can buy their teas, and also taste anything they sell for free.

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Jasmine Pearl

In any case, because we love tea, and it's within about 2 minutes walking distance, we go in often on Saturday mornings, and we've kind of become friends with the owners. So, we had them over for brunch this last weekend, and had a really nice time eating and chatting. They brought peach juice and sparkling wine to go along with the crustless quiche we made :)

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After eating and having some coffee, we went for a walk all around the neighborhood:

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It was a really nice day, and we're glad to have gotten to know them. Good people, good shop, good tea, good all around :) Happy weekend, all!

2011-02-07

Travels and whatnot

I was just recently away on a business trip to lovely Vancouver, British Columbia - land of Tim Horton's and funny looking 2 dollar coins :)

The arrival in Vancouver started off a bit rough, but thanks to the intervention of a friend and very kind person, Nathan, everything turned out fine, and we all made it out alive.

And then I got sick :)

Anyway, my time in Vancouver was pretty full, but I did manage an afternoon/evening of one day, plus about an hour or so on another day to walk around and take photos. I have a roll of black and white film as well, that I'm picking up today, so we'll see how that turns out.

Vancouver definitely feels like a larger city than Portland - at least the main downtown part of it. Portland actually has a height limit on buildings in some parts of town, including downtown, and it contributes to a kind of nice, cozy feel that I sort of like. Vancouver's gastown feels a bit more like Portland to me - shorter buildings, more old architecture left, smaller streets.

Anyway, here is evidence I was there.

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02-09

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