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Showing posts from 2006

Orton Park, I miss your mighty oaks!

Spaightwood Galleries formerly occupied a large Victorian house at the corner of Spaight and Few, just across the street from Orton Park, and pretty much equidistant between Sarah's and my two Madison apartments.

I think the gallery has moved to New York--it's definitely not in Madison any more. The link above takes you to the prints from Rouault's Miserere series--really quality images.

New Post!

Of course I'll wait to update this damn thing until the end of the semester, when all the shit I've been putting off for the last few weeks and months is cascading down on me like a fountain of lukewarm Coors Light.

After Tuesday, things will be a little less hectic, but frankly I'm just looking ahead to the end of the week. If anyone has any ideas about applying a psychoanalytic method of art criticism to the devotional aspects of Georges Rouault's Miserere (in particular Plate 23, Rue des Solitaires) and the pros and cons of doing so, I'd love to hear about it.

Caterpillars Eat Sweden!

I think my friend E-Fantastico's nightmares might look a little like this:



Carpet Caterpillars are apparently on a rampage in Sweden, relentlessly creating haunting, Christo-like tableaus for the aesthetic enjoyment of those cold, lonely Vikings. Thank you, Caterpillars, thank you for making the world a stranger place!

(I found the original post at boingboing.net)

A paragon for projects at Bill's Cabin in Bayfield...

My Dad and his buddies spend a couple of weekends a year up north at Bill's cabin in Bayfield, WI, puttering and being guys. They've started a Poplar-influencing project, bending saplings into art, which I think is way cool. So do these guys, who are making living houses out of bent trees. Here's a more recent post linking to an interview with arborsculptor Richard Reames:

One more for my Theologically minded friends:

I was gonna write a few more posts...

But I think I need to take a couple minutes to let this news sit. In the meantime, here's something I found linked to on Boingboing.net: The Day the Cow Sneezed, one of my favorite books when I was a kid, is in fact a lost artistic treasure!

I'm Gonna Send You One by One

One for the little bitty baby who was born in Bethlehem. Sitting in my room in the early afternoon, listening to Nina Simone with bright California sun and cool breezes coming in the windows, and I got hit by a bolt of lightning. Our friends Keith and June just had their baby. Welcome to the world, Lillian Hayley. Wow.





The topic of Keith's email was "My daughter, Lillian Hayley Epstein" and when I saw it I thought, no, that can't be right--total cognitive dissonance. Then I read the text and saw the pictures, and started sobbing and laughing at the same time. Man oh man, what a thing. Congratulations, Keith and June--we are so happy for you!


UPDATE!!!

One google later, I have spotted the elusive Frunchy lurking in the thickets of

PlayFeed.Com

He's easier to spot if you look for his distinctive markings, ie: his nom de blog "Michael Cardiff". Very cool stuff, and very psyched for tha Eff-Dawg.

Summer's here, and the time is right...

We leave Oakland tonight at 11:30 on a red-eye bound for Portland, Maine. Not so psyched. I'm feeling a little over-traveled, and under-quality-time-with-Sarah-ed. I couldn't even think of a less-awkward way to make that sentence happen (or this one, it would seem).

Sarah's school just had their Medicine Show yesterday, and the illustrious Frunch and I drove up to hang out and check out the proceedings. Sarah and all her classmates had the medicines and beers and wines and foods and products they'd been making all semester displayed on tables in the garden, and family, friends, and interested folks from the area came up to check out the scene and the items, and soak up the gemuetlichkeit (anyone know how to help a brother out with a little umlaut?). It was a lot of fun, and great in particular to A: hang out with Frunch, and B: watch Sarah tear it up selling medicines and the ginger beer we made. $60! She didn't expect to sell anything, and she made $60! N…

Summer minus thunderstorms and fireflies

Sometimes I forget that we're on foreign turf here...especially with the abnormally wet spring out here in California keeping things unusually green. But, alas, the dry and crustiness is setting in at last. We've been living here for almost a year already--unbelievable. Time goes faster and faster. And without the colors of fall, the snow of winter, the explosion of spring and the thunderstorms and fireflies of summer, time all seems to flow together and before you even noticed a year has gone by. It's a strange world out here. I wonder sometimes if the geologic unrest has somehow seeped its way into the people. This is a place of extremes. The one bedroom house across the street from us sold in a week for $600,000 and meanwhile, every Friday when we put out our recycling, there is a parade of people dragging their possessions down the street in grocery carts stopping to dig through our trash. The economy is dominated by computer professionals making six figures b…

Live from the Correspondent's Dinner...

Ladies and Gentlemen, Josh Orton! How's about that! Former high school compadre Jorton is writing a blog for Huffington Post, and Executive Producer of The Majority Report With Sam Seder and Janeane Garofalo! Josh attended the much-discussed Dinner, and filed this report from DC. A short excerpt:

"Here were some of the most dangerous men in recent US history, and everyone seemed content to glad-hand them, complement their tux, and ask for a snapshot. “Oh hey, haven’t seen you in forever, you look great!” says CNN blow-dry. “Thanks, thanks, I’m quite well. How are your kids?” responds war criminal."

During Class Today...

We were interrupted from our important work of finding queer readings of biblical texts by the cries of, "Back up! Back up! Back up! Back up--you're on my foooooooot!!!!"

The windows of the classroom were open to Ridge Rd. and Euclid Ave, and a young woman whose foot had just been run over.

During break, it was clear from the two police motorcycles, the firetruck, and the ambulance, that she was in good hands. Still, it was amazing to be inside of a room of potential ministers (myself included) who were all paralyzed by the prospect of another human in pain.

Walking home tonight I witnessed a confrontation between a young Black man, and an older White man pushing a shopping cart with a big American flag on the front. Do I minister, try to mediate? Do I save my safety and integrity for other conflicts? To what extent am I owned by my position as the child of the White middle class?

Also, I'm writing final papers. If anyone has thoughts on Andy Goldsworthy or T…

One more thought...

about the David Byrne piece I quoted below: the phrase "Where we see difference they would see similarity," resonated with me like someone had hit me like I was a gong. I keep coming back to Chris Hedges' War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, and his insight into the generation of perception-of-difference/uniqueness as essential to nationalism and war-making.

It's a dynamic you also see in dysfunctional and/or alcoholic families, the sense that, "we're separate from the rest of the community because we're special/better-than-them; we're misunderstood, and oppressed at all sides so we have to stick together and be loyal to each other above all else."

What holds us separate? What keeps us separated? What, after all is done, still connects us?

David Byrne, Super-genius:

David Byrne, former Talking Head, current talking head, drops some serious knowledge in his journal entry of April 29, 2006. Here's an excerpt of the final paragraphs:

"Darwinists claim the opposite — that this common genetic base or framework proves that we all came from the same place. That to have needed real genetic additions evolution would have happened even more slowly than it did. So, in their opinion, this system was the way it had to happen. At least in the time scale we observe. And the genius of the design is that it uses simple building blocks but makes the absolute most out of them. One can make a simple brick, or a skyscraper, but the ingredients are identical.

"What that says to me then is that most life on Earth is, genetically speaking, one organism. I don’t mean this metaphorically, I mean it literally. The various shapes and forms that life takes are ways that it, the uber organism, has found to occupy every available niche — but it is the always the s…

Genius or Folly?

Whoever gave Stephen Colbert 25 minutes at the White House Correspondent's Association dinner must have had some idea of what they were unleashing. I just watched it, and, well, it rocked my world. I, personally, think he killed. Even if you think he bombed, you have to admire the vast amounts of chutzpah it took to deliver this material, with the POTUS sitting ten feet from the podium. I'm talking about smelly oily gallons of guts.

Colbert's Finest Hour? We report, you decide.

I think I have a new American hero. Step aside, Kurt Angle.

Ms. Hill

Whoa...Sitting here knitting and listening to the hip-hop, I just caught Talib Kweli reference Octavia Butler and her incredible book Parable of the Sower. I'm sure it will change, but at the moment it feels like the older I get, the more I understand, like there is hidden knowledge that ties the entire universe together. Of course, the search for that type of knowledge was what drove Smeagol under the Misty Mountains, what twisted him into Gollum. I think I'm up too late.

Warning Area 291?

Pardon my French, but what the fuck? Joe posted on my mysterious boom entry below with this link to the most recent local article in regards to boom:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20060427-9999-1n27boom.html

Personally, I bet you could catch some hella big marlin out there in Whiskey 291. Or get shot to death and turned into chum. Tax dollars at work indeed.

I just came from seeing Dave Chappelle's Block Party (Dir. Michel Gondry) at The Parkway Theater with Zsolt and Julia. If you're looking for a movie that's like the total Bizzaro-World mirror image of sub-sonic-boom-producing-US-military-black-ops-classified-top-secret-bullshit, go see this film. Dave Chappelle drives around southern Ohio inviting people to a concert in Brooklyn featuring all the extra-progressive hip-hop heads you care to name. Then he has lunch at HaHa motherfuckin' Pizza. I wish to God I still had that t-shirt. That was the best t-shirt of my life. The whole experience made me…

Best short film in recent memory...

and it's a VW Jetta commercial. Theoretically the province of hot sorority chicks and gay guys (thanks, Joe and Derek), this commercial deepened my appreciation for the humble Jetta. I was watching an inning of the Giants/Mets game before walking to school for work, and it played during a pitching change. Or the inning break, whichever. I love the way it plays with expectations and complacency. A good reminder about the reality of driving.

Go Brewers!

So I mentioned about the play-by-play going silent when Bob or Jim weren't speaking. I think it must be some kind of bandwidth-saving situation (Do I sound like I know what I'm talking about yet?), where the broadcast of the audio cuts out based on the volume level picked up by the microphone. I'm guessing this because last inning, during a bases-loaded situation, the audio stopped cutting out during the pauses. I think the ambient noise in the stadium increased due to excitement, and also probably drunkenness, and so I was treated to the full auditory experience. Bliss!

This seems like the kind of thing my Dad thinks about.

Oh, one more thing...

Boingboing.net has picked up on the San Diego mysterious boom issue. Validation! I'm telling you, mysterious booms, huge chunks of sky-ice, the guy in the fedora across the cafe carrying three turned-on flashlights and talking to himself... Are you ready for the end times? Look to the East! Get Jesus-ed up! Or, you know, don't.
By the Way, our friend Amy has moved from near campus to just up Telegraph from us! She and Josh are moved from a two-bedroom apartment to one room in a house of six. Sounds familiar. Or, vis my typo, familial. At any rate, their new digs are right by Oakland's Bushrod Park, site of the famed ice fall of a few weeks ago! We tromped around the park looking for the crater last Saturday, to no avail. It's a pretty big park, mostly a huge overgrown field. We found a few small depressions that could have been craters, but more likely were just small depressions.

Wednesday Morning, 11am (-ish)

I am taking a little bit of a slow morning today. I had two presentations yesterday, and I feel like I've been running on full burners the past days preparing for them. So today, I'm sitting anti-socially at the Temescal Cafe on Telegraph Ave., knitting and listening to Jim Powell and Bob Uecker calling the Braves vs. the Brewers via the computer-internet. It's turning into a beautiful day outside, but I am very happy at the moment to be sittin' and knittin' and rootin' (and a little tootin', but don't tell the other patrons).
I can't listen to baseball games without thinking about my family, whether it's Brewers' games as a kid with Mom and Dad and Aunt Julie, or talking about the Indians with Cousins Andy and Marty, or watching the Twinkies with Grandma Karlson... The very definition of bittersweet. Sometimes California feels very very far away, and listening to the familiar voice of Bob Uecker, describing a perfect spring day at the …

Happy Quake Day!

Walking home from the BART station tonight, I saw a police helicopter circling over my neighborhood, spotlight fixed on the center of its rotation. It reminded me of a certain type of toy airplane I remember from my aviation-crazed youth, the kind of motor-powered plane that didn't do anything but "fly" in a big circle around your small hand, holding the line attached to the plane. The helicopter was tethered to the earth by the visible beam of its searchlight, fixed on a spot about a block from my house. I could hear it for almost an hour after I got home, spinning that same circle, as I sat in the living room with Barb and Leon.

Tonight after washing dishes and before diving into schoolwork in the library, I sat on the back steps of the PSR lawn, looking out over the bay towards the Golden Gate, as the sun set over Mt. Tamalpais. A guy sitting on the balustrade across the stairs from me took a break from spinning the wheels on his skateboard to tell me, in a thick…

At Long Last...

What a glorious day! At long last, a warm sunny day. Not quite 70 degrees, a little breezy, occasional small clouds, and all the sweet clean smells of spring. Trees starting to leaf out, making pools of shade on the sidewalks and roads, lots of people out and about, walking and riding bikes...Hallelujah!

Everyone was already out of the house by the time I was up and off on my run--and I thought I'd gotten up early. I went on a long run, up into the Oakland Hills a little, up and down footpaths, feeling (guiltily) pleased with myself that I finally know the terrain enough to explore a little and end up where I figured I would. It was great to have the house to myself all day. I put RJD2's Ghostwriter on the downstairs stereo, and blasted it...Douglas Adams (the science fiction author, not the Professor of Art and Religion at PSR) described drinking a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster (an invented cocktail that features prominently in his novels) as like having your brains smas…

Mysterious Booms, Ice Falling from the Sky...

Are these signs of the Apocalypse? Check out this article from BoingBoing:

What In the Hell, Guys?

It's been cloudy and raining here since February, with no signs of letting up. On the plus side, the occasional sunny day (there have been ...three? Three and a half?) really stands out. Sarah and I spent a gorgeous Sunday two and a half weeks ago sitting by the bay down at the Berkeley Marina (okay, it's a reclaimed garbage dump, but it's genuinely beautiful) reading, flying our kite, playing catch, and watching the boats out in bay, with Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the Golden Gate framing the afternoon sun. Really a great day. Today the sky is a flat, headachey gray, and the world feels hungover from being drowned in rain all yesterday. I am listening to Beth Orton's Central Reservation (Thanks Josh!) and doing some computer work I've been meaning to do for, oh, the last three years? All those Word files don't just organize themselves, ya know. I don'…

“There was a boom and we don't know what it is,”

I got a call from Joseph tonight about what he (and his classroom full of children) thought was an earthquake: Loud "BRRMMRMMRMMRMMMM"-type noise, shaking, about four seconds long, you know, earthquake. Turns out that it was mysterious "boom" of unknown origin. No plane crash, no missile attack, no seismic event...just a boom that shook the entire county. Weird. Maybe Dick Cheney has moved his undisclosed location to SD? Or it was somehow related to Barry Bonds (in town to play the Padres: rained out)? My guess is the airborne explosion of a largish meteor. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Plus, I was out of town at the time. In Oakland like a mug.

Engagements!

Congratulations to Paul and Ali! Paul casually let slip that he and Ali have officially engaged each other! They got their ring back from Burnie's Rock Shop on Wednesday, and that was that! OOf--three exclamation points in a row...I gotta slow down.

In other happy news, David and Michana, my great friend Alex's folks, have engaged as well after a 19 year courtship. Here's the photo Dad sent me of the article from the paper (easier than clipping it out and mailing it, he says; what kind of crazy world-of-the-future is this?!?):



I'm very happy for both of these couples, and nice to see Al get a little pub, too.

Oh no. Oh Sweet Merciful God, no!

I ran into this item over at BoingBoing, and I died. From laughter. I've sent my spirit, my anima, back to earth to post a link to this, that my friends and colleagues may also perish from hilarity and join me in the Land of Wind and Ghosts. So we can start a volleyball team.

Okay, this is from Rahoi.com, from his post of March 2nd (May I Take Your Order). A hideously translated menu couldn't be that funny, could it?

Exhibit A:

http://www.rahoi.com/2006/03/may-i-take-your-order.php

Exhibit B:

http://www.rahoi.com/2006/03/may-i-take-your-order.php

I'm not trying to say I've never created hilariously bad translations with internet language dictionaries. Quite the opposite. I am, however, trying to say that things are damn funny.

Spilling the Beans...

Last night was a hard night. Actually, the whole day was kind of the pits, which is why we went hiking in Muir Woods.

I'm a little sick of thinking about it, so here's the short version: the Balazs Committee, which is sort of in charge of Starr King's visiting Transylvanian scholarship program, decided to offer a program next year that would send an American Starr King student to Transylvania for six months to experience the life of a Taransylvanian village minister. Sarah and I applied and felt really really good about our chances.

The committee met yesterday morning, and we couldn't take the tension of waiting around to hear the news so we went for a ten mile hike. We met with one of the selection committee members last night, and got the bad news: they awarded the internship to a third-year student at school. A big bummer, but it could be worse! And there may very well be a next year.

PS!

Muir Woods is where, on May 19, 1945, leaders from all around the world met to sign the charter that created The United Nations! This (in my opinion) incredible salient and significant bit of triviana is totally absent from the website I linked to below, and appears only scantingly in the official US Parks Services website. Go figure. Sign of the times, or accurate reflection of the UN's political significance? I leave it to you, gentle reader, to determine the truth.

Visit Muir Woods?

Don't mind if I do!

Sarah and took the day for a hike in beautiful Muir Woods National Monument, just a bit south of her old San Rafael stomping grounds. I don't have any Wednesday classes, and we both needed to blow off some steam. Seriously.

We started in the old growth at the trailhead--really crowded for a Wednesday. We had to park in the overflow lot, and I've heard it's incredibly zooey on the weekends. For what it's worth. We were feeling saucy, so we hiked to the end of the paved main loop, and crossed a bridge over the river to the Ben Johnson trail. It was a gorgeous, slightly hazy day, but we still got a lot of sun (so cloudy and rainy the last few days--really lucky to get nice weather when we could enjoy it). When we started out, it was chilly enough for longsleeves, and we could see our breath. Steam rose off the trail and the trunks of the trees at the occasional patch of sunshine. Every cranny and gully seemed to have a stream running throu…

What Garrick just sent me:

mattbors.com
Thank you, Garrick! And expecially thank you Matt Bors, for this awesome comic!

Trying to flex my brain.

It's a windy, rainy, chilly, funky day, and Sarah and I are parked at The Temescal Cafe, the best coffeshop in our zone. When we got here, a trio of guitar and banjo playing women were singing and playing bluegrass songs, and the joint was crammed with people. The music was a great counterpoint to the weather, and the energy in the room was really reinvigorating. We worked at a luncheon yesterday at CDSP (Church Divinity School of the Pacific,the Episcopalian/Anglican school in the GTU), walking there and back from our house in Oakland, and watched the first two Indiana Jones movies in the evening. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was maybe the most exhausting thing we did all day--not the chill-out space-out we'd been hoping for. Just a boring, shrill, senseless, racist shell of a movie. I'd heard that the Indian gov't refused to let Spielberg and Lucas shoot on Indian soil, and after watching the terrible banquet dinner scene (Snake Surprise? Chilled Monke…

Trivial Pursuits

On Saturday, consumed with cabin fever, Sarah and I went down to The Albatross, a board-games themed bar in Berkeley. It's not The Weary Traveler, but pretty great nonetheless. We sat in front of the fireplace and played Trivial Pursuit and drank Sierra Nevada and ate complimentary popcorn. Pretty idyllic.

One of the questions Sarah got was "What was Adolf Hitler's favorite movie?" Her guess was Gone with the Wind, which I thought was pretty good--it was the first thought in my mind, too. The answer, though, was King Kong. Hitler's favorite movie was King Kong. It gave us both a shiver, a twisted little glimpse inside one of humanity's greatest preversions.

On a happier note, Earthquake!!! The whole house just flexed and shook for a second, and everyone at home said, with one voice, "Earthquake!" Pretty cool! 11:35 am PST. Just a small one, though. Nothing fell off the shelves or anything.

Separated at Birth?

Two Battle Scarred Veterans... who do you want on *your* fantasy football team?

Who would win in a fight between...

The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny looks to address the eternal issue of Mortal Kombat-style fights between ...well, whoever. In my experience, the question of who would win in a fight between... stayed in the realm of the animal world, ie: puma vs. cheetah, weight-lifting gorilla vs. black bear, grizzly bear vs. polar bear, great white shark vs. grizzly bear/puma tag team, etc. This Flash video is still pretty damn funny. Mom, you probably won't enjoy this one.

Big Monkey!

It's been a little more than a week since Sarah returned from Denver, and we are finally starting to settle back in. I picked her up at San Francisco Airport last Tuesday night, and whisked her off to Wilbur Hot Springs for a few R&R days. The waters were a little too stinky for our tastes (and very very salty--even the filtered water for showering and drinking left our pores filled with sulfur-y odors for days afterward, which was gross) and a little too hot for protracted bathing, but the lodgings were gorgeous--we stayed in the Loft Room, which you ascend spiral staircase to get to--and the communal kitchen was a great common space. The other highlight was tromping around the 1800 acres of private land around the springs. The whole area supported a pretty intense mining industry around the turn of the last century, and the land is dotted with collapsed mines and smeltery ruins, and zigzagged with old mining roads. Next time I bring a camera.

The transition from such f…

A cunning ruse...

Elizabeth took these great pictures and more at Joel and Stephanie's moustache party Saturday night! Total satisfaction. Oh yeah, the photos:

You have been naughty and must be dealt with...

Joe Barry and Andy Karlson: Fighting Ninja Cyborgs in a World They Never Made

Holy Anamorphosis, Batman!

I feel kind of cheap biting this from the great Mark Evanier's News From ME
, but it's just too much. This man, Julian Beever is a genius. Chalk and a sidewalk, and an incredible mind, hand and eye. Here's his website. It is incredibly beautiful here today--sunny, a little hazy, and such intensely refreshing cool breezes. Ahhhh.

Lots of complaining on the internets about the officiating during the Super Bowl, and the usual blah blah blah about Oh, it's so boring. Whatever. It's football. In my opinion, the ratio of truly exciting, competitive Super Bowls to boring ones is about the same as for regular season games. Football games tend to have a pretty steady low state of action/interest, punctuated by moments of senses-shattering transcendence. Kind of like life.

My Otis Redding Pandora station has gone all rock-and-or-roll on me: from North Mississippi AllStars to a great John Hiatt song I hadn't heard (Straight Outta Time) to John Mayer covering Ji…

A very good day

Today has been a very good day. It still is a very good day, as I sit and reflect on it. I spent the morning and early afternoon cleaning up the house and my room and car a bit in preparation of Sarah's return, and the afternoon and evening enjoying the Super Bowl at the Parkway Theater and the company of my friend Josh. It's early enough in the semester that I don't feel guilty about skimping on the reading for my classes, or that I'm going to miss a bunch of classes this week taking Sarah to Wilbur Hot Springs as a wind down from nanny-ing for Becky and Andy Potter the last three-and-a-half weeks. Of course, Sarah doesn't know about this yet, so if you see her before Tuesday, please keep it under your hat.

I'm listening to the Otis Redding station on Pandora.com as I write this, which plugs me into such a great variety of classic soul music and like great blues channels pain and loneliness into defiant joy and perseverance, steadfastness. Night Train by…

At Long Last!!!

Hooray!!! James Is Cute dot Blogspot dot Com has finally arrived! I have been waiting many a long month to see my favorite canine get his internet-y due. Here's a taste of what awaits you at jamesiscute.blogspot.com:



What an awesome James, and what an awesome Ali and Paul!!! A person is incredibly lucky to have such great friends.

Go Steelers!!!!

Hooray!!! Triumph! The experience of watching the Super Bowl at The Parkway Theater was completely fantastic. I got to meet cool new folks, hang out with old friends, and be completely engaged in a pretty decent football game! Also, I knocked over Two, count 'em, Two completely full beers on consecutive exciting plays during the second half of the game, which was embarassing and cool. Long story short, a helluva game, and the viewing experience was entirely satisfactory. And good on the Steelers.

PartiallyClips.com

This comic runs in one of the local free tabloids. Kind of hit or miss, but this week's edition killed me:



Well done, Robert T. Balder! I may finally be ready to, as it has been said, rock.

I thought California would be different...

True, I didn't think California would be like this, but I don't know how it could be different, either. Sitting on the deck tonight, hearing the resonant tones of the metal wind chimes, and the sorrowful plunks of the bamboo ones, and smelling the jasmine on the breeze; hearing the constant low roar of the highway (even at three in the morning), but also the distant lament of the train horn; and seeing a few stars through the orange-purple night sky...I thought California would be different, but I didn't expect it to be this much the same.


{EdNote: This image is of a print by Raymond Pettibon, one that I had the privelege to live with for a semester of college thanks to Oberlin's Art Rental program and my excellent housemate Josh Adler. I think about it every time the thought "Wow, California isn't how I thought it would be," crosses my mind. Kind of grim, no?}

The Great Twitch

Funny that I should have spent so much of yesterday writing about All the King's Men, and spent all of today being driven slowly nuts by a facial tic above the left side of my lip. Seriously, it's making me crazy. In the novel, The Great Twitch was Jack Burden's (ultimately failed) metaphor for the senselessness of life, that life is so random that all our behaviors and interactions might as well be random twitches of muscle fiber. I don't think that what I've got constitutes a Great Twitch, but it certainly is a persistent one.

Suspicious? What month is it?

So I had a great post written on questions of agency and identity as explored through Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men and High Fidelity (I focussed more on the film by Stephen Frears than on the original Nick Hornby book), and it mysteriously disappeared. I, of course, blame the government.

The crux of my post was that letting outside events and relationships with other people shape your life is fundamentally selfish, and that each of us bears responsibility for claiming our own agency. One of my favorite lines from Richard Linklater's Waking Life is an offhanded remark by a passerby, late in the movie, who tells the nameless protagonist (played by Wiley Wiggins) "As the pattern becomes more complex, it is no longer sufficient to be swept along," or something like the same. The patterns are becoming more complex, and we face peril if we are satisfied with passivity. But, like I said, that post got erased, so here's a BMW z3 Coupe, my current dream …

Etiquette?

What pleases God? What offends God? To what is God indifferent? Shaykh Yassir Chadly at Starr King told me at the start of the last semester that proper etiquette was important because it pleases God. I'm not a Muslim, nor do I believe in God in a firm, definite sense. Something about the idea of etiquette being important to God really stuck with me, though, and I'm still mulling it over. What are the rules that govern our relationships with one another? Where do ethics come from? Are they pragmatic constructs, or do they come from a deeper source? Just idle thoughts from an early morning walk home from a late-night beer and bs session with Garrick and Neal.

Oh My Goodness

Pandora has just helped me create a Josh Ritter radio station. If you were curious, the music-genomic traits of Josh Ritter are mellow rock instrumentation, mild rhythmic syncopation, repetitive melodic phrasing, extensive vamping, and major key tonality. Must be why he's such a hit in Ireland--those leprechauns are suckers for vamping.

Back in the Saddle!!!

For what it's worth, I am resurrecting my blog! Cause everyone else is, that's why. I'm listening to the Flaming Lips Radio station from pandora.com which is playing a song called Magic Finger by James Kochalka Superstar. The chorus, and I'm not joking, is "It's my dick! It's my dick! It's a magic finger, pointing at all the pretty girls!" Actually, that's pretty much the whole song. Kochalka is a cartoonist of some repute, most recently for Super F*ckers. Get your mind out of the gutter, James!

I figured out how to resurrect the posts from me and Sarah's bike trip, and I'm working on getting the photos back up, so hold yer horses, you bastids. I have been meaning to write more, and this is sort of a step up from journaling. I do, yes, need the practice. I haven't bicycled across the country since the last time, so no real significant two-wheeled news. I am relocated from Madison, WI, to Oakland, CA, to attend seminary…