Thursday, February 26, 2009

Getting it done.

The secret of making something work in your lives is, first of all, the deep desire to make it work; then the faith and belief that it can work; then to hold that clear definite vision in your consciousness and see it working out step by step, without one doubt or disbelief.

—Eileen Caddy

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

STROKE: Remember The 1st Three Letter...

STROKE: Remember The 1st Three Letters.... S.T.R.

Please read:


A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke... totally . He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.


Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR . Read and Learn!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke
Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S *
 Ask the individual to SMILE.

T * Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
        (i.e. It is sunny out today)
R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 999/911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue
NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other , that is also an indication of a stroke.

A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A Less Than Ergonomic Set-Up

I wonder if the irony that's going to be lost on the generations of the next millennium is that they won't have a record of us with which to look back on and laugh as the minuscule slice of humanity that occupied themselves regularly by sitting in front of electronic screens in an effort to connect with one another and record their lives. If Hemingway hadn't killed himself when he did, the internet most surely would have driven him to it, had he lived to see it.

And yet, here I am. I'm still trying to figure out why. It's partially novelty. When I moved into my apartment three and a half years ago I didn't even have a working cell phone in the place. I had to walk down the street to the corner in order to get reception. That went on for months. It was me, and my stereo, and that was it. No t.v. No phone. No internet connection and a laptop that eventually stopped working altogether. I did switch cell phone carriers eventually. And for a time watched movies on my laptop before it bit the dust inside my closet. After my company was sued by a former employee I was left with a windfall of money that I'd apparently earned according to the state of California. This was last summer. Just about the time I was beginning to shoot more of my projects digitally. So I invested in a new computer. A desktop. First one I've owned, well, ever. First one I've used since college, so the better part of a decade. They didn't make computers like this when I was in college. And I'm glad they didn't, because I never would have left the room. I almost feel sorry for college kids these days, the irony being, I work with them. I'm sure there's a greater irony here that I'm missing that has something to do with my feeling sorry for kids that are able to attend college, or my allowing myself that emotion given that I'm only at the end of my twenties. Not even out of those woods yet.

Which brings me to an entirely unrelated point- I have very little idea of how almost anything works. I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately. There are a few things I know something about. Photography. Literature. Organizing. There are many things I know very little about, but love to pretend like I do- physics, philosophy, history, anthropology, sociology, etc. There are a couple of things I know pretty well- how to make friends, how to be a friend, how to come on too strong with a girl I'm excited about, saying goodbye, throwing a party. I know how to do the Charleston. I know how to make a gin & tonic. I know how I like to hold a record and the way I like to turn its edge along the length of my thumbs and forefingers as I look closely at its jet black surface for scratches and fractures. I know what it's like to love someone that doesn't love me. I know what it's like to be loved by someone that I don't love.

I suppose as I get older I notice most that the things that used to scare the hell out of me don't scare me nearly as much as they used to and the things I never thought much about are beginning to scare the hell out of me. Getting old. Being alone. Not getting to see the world I've been dreaming about for all of these years. I picture myself in an unbuttoned, short-sleeved, linen t-shirt with a pair of sunglasses in the pocket and wearing my cut-off jeans and a fedora. I'm eating a peach that would have been too ripe had I let it go another hour. One bite has ripped it apart and its flesh is draped over the heel of my hand and I'm standing on the dock in a pair of flip flops near the Mediterranean. I've got a brown paper bag full of those peaches in my right hand pinched against the frigid emerald sweating glass bottle of carbonated water and the sun is a shattered sheet of glass on the water and there are children running along the dock and diving into the water and they are screaming and there are elderly people sitting in chairs bathing in the sun and some are playing a card game and no one speaks English well and I set down my things but leave on the shirt and dive into the water too.

Maybe computers are no different than books. Maybe we need to escape. Even from the people we love and the places we call home. Even from the good of it. I sat down to write about locking my keys in the truck I'm borrowing this morning. That cost me $165. That could feed so many children. And what was the first thing I wondered? How nice is the dinner that i could have had? That's what happens. We sit in front of these computers and it gets easier and easier to think that we're connected, because we can see it, right there, in front of us. I would trade my computer to kiss the woman I love, to be with her, to wake up with her (even though she hates sharing the bed). I would trade my computer to lie on that dock, to have the men and women and children of that village greet me in the morning with their pats on the back and their running about me on their way to school. To feel the sun on my back and the rain on my neck. To be able to sit on the porch at the end of the evening and watch a thunderstorm. I say I would trade my computer for these things but I sit at my computer and I write about them and I long for them and I wonder how far away I push them.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Change is Gonna Come

Sam Cooke's voice is a dream. If you've never heard Sam Cooke sing, but you've woken up in the arms of the one you love, then you know the sound of his voice. If you've never heard Sam Cooke croon, but you've eaten the chocolate mousse at Tartine Bakery, you've heard him sing. If you haven't heard Sam Cooke, rejoice in this- life can easily get better.

Somehow, the Robitussin worked. It's become perfectly clear to me that I have absolutely no idea how the human body works. It's also pretty clear to me that beer, cigarettes, airplanes, and extreme temperature changes aren't any good for it. At least, not in my case. I'm proud of mine holding out a solid seven weeks. Way to go, body. Sorry I treated you like crap.

It's an incredible thing not to have to think about things like walking, or drinking, or shitting. And that's what it is. It's shitting. It's a foul, disgusting thing that we want out of our asses and out of our homes as quickly as possible. And the majority of the world seems to be wallowing in it. I sometimes wonder how direct the relationship is between the amount of shit that I've bought, the quickness with which shit leaves my home, and the amount of shit I've helped to cause the faceless mass that is the rest of the world. Kundera has a good bit about this, the shitting that is, in THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING. I'd prefer to underline that, but there doesn't seem to be the option here.

I talked to my grandfather today. Whole arm is black and blue, down to the wrist. He's cool. It's the blood thinner he's on. Anytime he's injured, he's black and blue to the bone. "That's the stuff you gotta deal with when you get old," he said. Normally he adds how much it sucks. Today he sounded resigned to it. Maybe that's the last thing to go. I'm still not sure what I'm more afraid of- the gradual loss of each of my faculties in old age, or death.

Instead of dwelling on all of that, I'm finally getting to work on a new series of pieces that are inspired by one I began for my sister about four years ago. I figure I should probably up the rate to more than one per decade if I'm going to get a show together.

Oh, and listening to Sam Cooke.

That and the steady rhythm of dissecting newspapers and running my fingers through glue puts my mind at ease.

The Robitussin doesn't hurt, either.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Sick Day

I'm at home. Sick. Working from home. Technology both cramps my style and blows my mind. I was on my phone a few months ago in a park talking to the friend I was meeting for lunch- we were trying to find one another- and he said, "How cool would it have been if we had this as kids?" I'm not actually sure that he said that. But the point stands.

Yesterday I came home from work early to crawl into bed and die and ended up sitting in front of the monstrosity of a computer I now own for almost three hours. I use the phrase, "now own," even though I've owned it since last summer. I use this phrase because I understand about 1/1000th of what it's capable. This became even more apparent last night as I was digging through help files trying to figure out why my video chat installation wasn't working. Then it started working. I don't know why. But I'm glad it did. This week marks the first time I've ever engaged in video chat. I was at work and a black box appears over a chat box initiated by that same friend with whom I was having lunch in the park and there you have it, a perfect reason to use the word viola in a blog. I'm too sick and lazy right now to figure out the accent mark. Maybe not.


I was introduced to computers at a pretty young age. I had an Atari 800. I had an external floppy disk drive. Eat your heart out, ladies. I had a tuner and a pair of rabbit ears. And yet, when my aunt bought me a Nintendo for Christmas despite my father, who worked in sales for a computer company and who'd helped me put together that set-up, I thought she was going to end up in the trunk of our Volvo. They never really got along.

Most of my friends and co-workers know of my reluctance to get onto the pop-tech bandwagon. But it's a total lie to say that I don't like technology. I'm a huge geek for it. I spent an hour at work one day loading software to view The World Telescope and when I did it made me tear up it was so beautiful. The only thing that keeps me from being frustrated that there's not a fully-functional jetpack in production is that it'd probably be used for war more than any other purpose. I want my computer to be a screen that appears out of thin air and allows me to manipulate it by moving my hands and speaking and I'm confident that this will happen in my lifetime. But it scares me when people stop asking questions about the effect any type of behavior that becomes popular has on our well-being, not to mention our culture, which may be one and the same. I don't understand why I'd want to have an instant messenger that allows me to digitally chat with someone that I can see in the same room, unless of course it's to talk about how hungover we are and how much we don't want to be at work. I see that there are useful applications of technology. What I don't see is the general population using them usefully. And I'm not sure that I know any better. That's why I'm cautious. This stuff is addictive and solipsistic. Case in point, I'm in bed, blogging about myself and technology.

In other news, it's nice to have a president that seems to have a sense of justice.

Love always,


About Me

My photo
I keep a copy of Bertrand Russell's autobiography next to my bed.