Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Here's to living long enough to be forgiven for the bones I broke, I had to make a livin'

This weekend I read most of The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. The thing that remains with me, more than the ideas of verbal sorcery, the war between beauty and the body the text presents, or the politics of ownership in relationships, is a crow with broken bones.

While on a walk, the protagonista, Tereza, comes across the beak of a crow sticking out of the ground. Her St. Bernard, Karenin drps his daily breakfast roll in excitement. She ties him to a tree, and kneels down by its side, only to find that the group of children hiding behind the same tree have buried this bird alive in the ground. She digs up the dirt violenty, scratches away the remaining crumbs from the bird, and pulls the crow entirely out of its grave. It could neither walk, nor fly, but is still worth something to Tereza. She wraps in a scarf and takes it home, where she tends to it like a spouse taking care of a terminally ill partner. She watches it writhe, trying hopelessly to use its lame wings and legs, and finally pass away.

This scene in the book, to me, fits into a larger theme of compassion and empathy. In the book, the protagonist, Tomas, posits two competing ideas of compassion. In one case, it is a condescending feeling, akin to pity. We cannot look on as another suffers, we must care. Thus, a care that comes from compassion is a care that cannot be linked to love, as one is superior, looking on, over the other. The second type of compassion, in which the root word comes from the word feeling rather than suffering, involves "co-feeling." This means being able to live with the misfortunes and fortunes, the saddnesses AND the joys of another. Tomas calls it a curse, but admits that "in the heirarchy of sentiments, it reigns supreme."

The idea of co-feeling in personal relationships, but also with the depth that would lead someone like Tereza to accompany a lonely crow in its final moments on this earth appeals to me greatly at this point in my life. I often feel cursed by how deeply I feel the emotions of others, by how tempted I am to ignore my own in order to tend to them. I realize now that as long as I build relationships that are mututally "co-feeling," there is no reason to be scared. This is why I look for so many signs of empathy, of compassion.

No one will be left to suffer, left for dead in a dirt grave if both members are like Tereza, waiting to yank the other out of the ground and place her/him softly in a rag bed on the bathroom floor. Reciprocity.

Miike Snow- In Search Of

"Here's to living long enough to be
forgiven for the bones I broke...
I had to make a livin'
But we won't back down from anything
in search of a remedy."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

On some days I am thankful for the ability to shut off my emotions, to totally immerse myself in a project. Today I was thankful to feel so human. I felt a real pain and a real fear in my heart for my family. There were a few hours today that I decided not to put on a confident mask, and let myself grieve for my mother's loss, and for the loss of the only family member I have that I feel like I made any sense to. That was a luxury, not something everyone gets or is even entitled to, I suppose. At least we keep connections with the creatures that spawn us, unlike so many other animals. Perhaps if we didn't, though, we wouldn't have to go through this pain.

It has been beautiful. It is always beautiful to watch loved ones enjoy the world. At the end of the night I feel lonely. I finally take a day off to relax, and yet without any family members alive who think anything I have to add to the conversation is interesting, I feel like I have no one to truly share this day with.

-posted on the move

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

the politics of questions

what does one do, when one asks a question and rather than receiving an answer to it, receives a critique of how it is worded? Is that the answer?

mp3's of the day:

Boston Spaceships- Question Girl All Right (Guided by Voices, Inc.)

Radiohead- These are My Twisted Words

right click that junk.

off to writing. not about music.

I love the coastline. I love the coastline, so low.
I'll write the coastline. Write on, equestrian question girl.

taking care and getting taken care of. whining vs. SOP

I would like to think that people take care of each other because they want to. I especially want to believe that my inclination to nurse, encourage, and tough-love others in their down and out moments has no relationship to earning similar treatment when I need it. However, when I am sick, sad...there is an ugly, green touch of resentment that creeps up and out of my chest. It whispers, "I would do it for you," but often says nothing out loud. This hand, unfortunately, helps me to figure out with whom I have a reciprocal relationship.

Slapping the hand, I wonder:

Do we all need to be taken care of sometimes? Even if we can make the soup ourselves, do we need to FEEL taken care of?

Looking at the pile of work on my desk and considering my inability to ask for help when I need it, I decide that this query is of no current value to me and move on.

Wondering where my high-five is won't write my SOP.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quotes from a classroom

To me: that's why I like Gainesville; it has no volcanos.

From me: no, what I mean is, did she literally come from the underworld?

-posted on the move, but in solidarity

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I drew this today. The constellation is Scorpio...it looks much better in person. The bottom half is black, with the orchid/grey tree branches diving down...but leaving space to glue on a letter...saying whatever needs to be said. I guess I get excited about the birth of people who helped to bring people I care about into this world. Who wouldn't? This photo is not so great. Just wanted to put it up for someone to see.

Things to be Thankful for on a Thundering Thursday

MP3 Offering:
Russian Circles - Malko

1. Alliteration has to be one of them. I am not sure whether Dr. Suess has anything to do with this effect, but I am not acquainted with a single person who wouldn't respond well on some level to a good alliteration.

2. José Gonzalez, in general. Applying to schools lately, this has been "the jam."

3. Small Leaks Sink Ships

The truth of this, and the band, are both equally excellent.

4. Tody Castillo- Not That Kind of Girl

"I know you're not that kind of girl to hang around, and put up with this.
and you know I'm not that kind of boy, to fool around, to get over you."

can't find an mp3 anywhere. Come on, hype machine!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To all, a warning

I can now post from my phone.

-posted on the move,
but in solidarity

for you. (because using someone else's words is so much easier than sharing my own tonight)

don't be scared
by andrew bird

Whenever Paul thinks of rain, swallows fall in a wave and tap on his window with their beaks. whenever Paul thinks of snow, soft winds blow round his head and his phone rings just once late at night, like a once late at night, like a bird calling out, "wake up, Paul, don't be scared."
"Don't believe you're all alone."
"wake up, paul," whisper clouds rolling by and the seeds falling softly from the branches of the trees.

Letters Have No Arms !

Letters Have No Arms !

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Children, Behave: under the covers with "I Think We're Alone Now"

"I think we're alone now...": pop

"Teenage Kicks" : punk?

I'll go ahead and say it. "I Think We're Alone Now" is one of the most prodigious and catchy teen crush or even "hidden crush" anthems of our modern times. It seems like every time our appreciation of Ritchie Cordell's masterpiece is lost in the tides of generation-shift, a new and popular group (or at least one that is marketable to popular culture) covers the song and charts shortly after. We, as a culture, love that freakin' song...whether y'all are going to admit to your secret obsession with it or not.

For me, "I Think We're Alone Now" and it's expression of excited, dreamy, innocent and yet intensely sexual energy of a new "thing" is eclipsed only by The Undertones' "Teenage Kicks," recorded in 1978. It has often been referred to as the best all-time rock single. There have been several covers of "Teenage Kicks": Snow Patrol (to be played at John Peel's memorial service, R.I. P.), Razorlight, Ash, Skunk Anansie, The Pink Spiders, Busted, Groovie Ghoulies, Sahara Hotnights, The Saw Doctors, Therapy?, Buzzcocks, Dža ili Bu, Nouvelle Vague, Green Day, Boom Boom Kid, Thee Headcoatees, Franz Ferdinand, Supergrass, The Young Fresh Fellows, KT Tunstall, The Coral, The Raconteurs, Violent Delight, Criminal Mischief, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Beatsteaks, Seabear, Maroon, Every Dirty Street, Pelucas Rosas, mittelfit and Pretendo.

"Teenage dreams, so hard to beat." indeed. For the record, Irish radio listeners and I agree that Prison Love's bluegrass cover is our fave.

In contrast to the myriad covers of "Teenage Kicks" that have been recorded, but never really popularized, there have only been a handful of groups that have covered "I think we're alone now." Yet, when I hold conversations with friends, aqcuaintences, etc, there seems to be less confusion about who recorded the original version of "Teenage Kicks" simply because only The Undertones' version of the song charted. It seems like every band who ventures to cover of "I Think We're Alone Now" that appeals to popular music culture finds success. It becomes clear this song is epic when one considers that Weird Al has spoofed it, and both the Chippettes and a pre-Black Eyed Pea's/less 40th century version of Fergie have done it. What more can a song ask for, really?

On the Radar: the original

Ritchie Cordell

"I Think We're Alone Now" was written by Brooklyn song-writer Ritchie Cordell, who was responsible for several other bubble-gum hits like "Mony Mony" and co-producing the Joan Jett and the Blackhearts hit "I Love Rock'n'Roll. "ITWAN" was initially a 1967 success for Tommy James & the Shondells (who also released Crimson and Clover!) that stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for 17 weeks, topping out at #4. I am presently addicted to this version of the song, and claim not responsibility for it. Thanks a lot, Cordell.

I wasn’t born in the 60s, but this song makes me want to write a note to my high school crush on a piece of composition note-book paper regarding whether or not he likes the new history teacher (aren't his glasses ace?). It makes me think of stealing kisses on the cheek when parents leave the room, tree-houses, and better yet, vintage knee length skirts (I am sporting one now, for the occasion).

Cordell's Gem Goes #1: 20 Years Later

Though the original of this song was, by my standards, perfect, the song didn't make it to a #1 slot until 1987, the twenty-year anniversary of its original release. It is hard to find someone in the United States between the ages of 18 and 70 that doesn't recognize (and obviously, secretly love) this song. Whether your memories take you back to the spill you took behind your best friend at the roller-rink in 1990 or, if you were my mother, buying a hot dog for your child at the roller-rink while s/he was taking a spill.... in 1990, listening to this song is sure to bring you back.

This was the first version of the song I heard, and as my good friend Tom Jones pointed out to me, the popularity of this version and its release during our formative years obscured the existance of the original, and arguably perfect, version. It is, thus, a frame of reference: the version of the song to which all covers we hear are compared. Had my father not made it a point to remind me that Tiffany's "bouncing bippy recording" was not the original during my junior year in high school, I would probably remain unaware of the timeless nature of this song today. Tragedy. I will admit not giving it a chance precisely because my father was so pushy about it until I was well into my college era.

Tiffany- I Think We're Alone Now (1987)
Tiffany Rene Darwish, teen representative of mall love, feathered hair, and acid wash, brought herself to fame with this "hot dance track." Cheesy? Overproduced? Absolutely. Nevertheless, Tiffany's win has served as a dare to adventurous cover-lovin' recording artists ever since.

The Ninties

(published before it is done for the benefit of TOM JONES!!)


Saturday, June 6, 2009

et trobe a faltar molt

Aquests mesos han mostrat qui i què em inspirar l'emoció d'enyoror.
Enyoro a moltes persones...persones qui eran un part de la meva família...persones que eran bons amics.
Enyoro tenir feina qué em llenava.
Enyoro idiomes qué em tocava el meu cor.

Enyoro la stabilitat.
Enyoro el meu gos.
Enyoro les muntanyes...
i ara, per la primera vegada, enyoro a una persona que he conegut molt recent. Tenc un nou sentiment de faltar.

Vaig construyent una vida en qué aquestes coses siguin presents.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

¡Rules for Controversy?



Conflict is both a normal and expected ingredient in any relationship that brings people together and engages them at the level of their significant values and needs.

It is more often a sign of a relationship/community's health than it is a symptom of a root problem. The presence of conflict among us most often indicates that we are involved in something that we feel to be significant-- significant enough to generate the passion, disturbance, and/or tensions we are feeling/imagining. Thus, it marks a relationship of some force. This energy is meaningful, demonstrative, and can be productive.

Relationships/communities in which there exists nothing important enough to fight about are more likely to die than are groups in which some dissension occurs. Indifference is a greater enemy of solidarity and love than conflict.


Hey Mama Wolf- Devendra Banhart

¡Rules for Controversy?

to be continued.

[the phone rang. ]

the phone rings

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

let us grow, let us grow!

[ esperançadorament]
treballaré el teu coset
com es treballa sa terra:
amb amor i fúria.


I was listening to a beautiful song congrats on version 2, guys.

We're gonna reap what we sow...
but grace, we all know,
can take the place of all we owe

so, why not..?
let's forgive everyone
all the time

all the time


all the time.

For once, I took a post off of private.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

To Listen

There Was An Owl

There was an owl
who lived in an oak.
The more he heard,
the less he spoke;
the less he spoke,
the more he heard-
We all should be
like that wise old bird.

Friday, January 2, 2009

2009? United States?

After having deleted my old blog, I feel somehow compelled to write in a new one. I am sure most of the entries will be private.
Let's start with a picture, song, purpose, and rant.

I. picture



a trilingual celebració
a place to be obvious
and sheepish
a safe place for weak verbs
and hard heads


Estic pensant mes i mes en ángles. Menys i menys en castellá...i menys en catalá . Aquesta llengua..que no sigui meu...que no puc ni escruire...está morint en el meu cor. Trist? a mem...