Friday, November 5, 2010

525,600 minutes

a. temporal elaboration:

b. time:

Happy Guy Fawkes Day. Where is the bonfire?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

corn maze, candy apple americana. where were you?

Last night, the loveliest couple I know and I drove out to Rogers Farm. The drive in and of itself was incredible-- the smells of bonfires in the distance, starts brighter and fresher with each cleared kilometer.  On the way we listened to the sounds of the most ridiculous corners of our musical tastes.

The promise of a terrifying corn maze drew us, but when we entered we saw that there was much more than that going on. There was a huge field of hay stacked 8 feet tall that you can climb around on/in- have king of the mountain type fights on and a HUGE bouncy castle surface (perhaps half a a football field?) to jump around on, fall, laughing into one another.

The corn maze was full of living tropes of Americana horror culture- Jason, Freddy, chain saws, jumping out, creepy music. It was not nearly as scary, however, as the spooky trail. In the spooky trail, there is only one direction/path one can take.  People jump out at you, dressed like clowns and/or monsters...but they follow you, breathing on you and coming quick with the directions. "Keep walking." It would be fairly easy for someone who is actually interested in killing someone to do so in that setting-- no one would think to run or not follow instructions. It was this realization that made me nervous.

There was so much about Rogers Farm a la halloween to love-- grabbing on, running, laughing, screaming,  the cotton candy, candy apple atmosphere, the jumping, the crisp fall smell. It was cold enough for me to wear a hoodie. Maybe that's a sign?

Happy Halloween

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

everything is moving.

Also: there is a lecture on vikings coming up. You should go.
"Vikings and the Archaeology of Memory"

9 November, 7:30pm, Leigh 207 (chemistry building)
Howard Williams (University of Chester)
Vikings and the Archaeology of Memory

How did the Vikings remember? What did they remember and why? As part of a growing field of study known as 'archaeologies of remembrance', the talk will present archaeological evidence for how Viking period  societies used  material culture to construct their myths, legends and social histories. The talk charts comemmorative practices in the Vikings' Scandinavian homelands through the hybrid cultures and shifting commemorative practices developed during the Norse colonisation of the North Atlantic and parts of the British Isles during the ninth and tenth centuries AD. Investigating how these early medieval socieites imagined, invented and portrayed their own history, the talk presents fresh perspectives on the fascinating worlds of Viking art, death ritual, monument-buildling and landscape perception and utilisation.

HOWARD WILLIAMS is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Chester. His research investigates the archaeology of early medieval death, burial and commemoration (c. AD 400-1100). Howard has directed fieldwork in the UK and Sweden and he is co-director of Project Eliseg (<> His other research explores the history of early medieval archaeology and contemporary archaeologies of death. Howard is author of Death and Memory in Early Medieval Britain (2006, Cambridge University Press), editor of Archaeologies of Rememebrance (2003, Springer) and co-editor of Early Medieval Mortuary Practices: Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 14 (2007, Oxford University School of Archaeology) and Mortuary Practices and Social Identities in the Middle Ages (2009, University of Exeter Press).

Monday, September 13, 2010

what we deserve.

"Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal; chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman."

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Sunday, September 12, 2010

in reading this I both hear and remember a loved one.

"speech is holy; it was not intended to be set free only to be wasted. It is for hearing and remembering."

Ella Cara Delouria

 We only have one shot to be sincere here, y'all. Let's love when we love,  and say so.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

the night will have no stars and you will be as far as you think you can ever get, but walk on because you can't go back now...

be what you want to be.

[today's study playlist]

Masterswarm- Andrew Bird

Honey and the Moon- Joesph Arthur

Michael Stipes- In the Sun (Joseph Arthur Cover)

Just in Case- Micachu

There are Birds- The Ruby Suns

Say Goodbye- Seepeoples

Leaves in the River- Seawolf

3 Legged Animals- Californe

Bathosphere- Smog

Can't go back- The Weepies

Sunday, August 22, 2010

stopping you would stifle your enchanting ghost (leaked. awesome.)

"...and if it grieves you to stay here, just go...
ohhhhh for I have no spell on you, it's all a ghost."

Even if you're one of those "too cool" anti-hipsters (in itself a form of hipster, the anti.) or anti-everyonelikesthat kids-- take a listen. It's good, no matter your position on Sufjanism.

Sufjan Stevens- Enchanting Ghost

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Things now. From a letter I wrote. Easier than writing a blog.

There is one fact I have found in my life to be very central to who I am and what I'm here for. Mountains. I was 16 years old before I saw a mountain, and when I did I felt like a resting metronome. Peaceful, done with a hard day's work. "Found it!" I spent hours taking pictures of graveyards on mountainsides (in North Carolina in the snow). I have never been good at the cold, and thus don't think I really appreciated how much I NEED mountains intermittently until I moved to Spain when I was 22.

Right now listening to a song I can't stop listening to for whatever reason- "Nerves of the Nightmind" by Fronteir Ruckus. It will surely go on my August mix.

Back to mountains. When I was 21 I packed a backpack and went out to explore the place where I spent my preteen years-- Ascot, England. From there I traveled all over Europe with a friend for the summer. I fall in love with languages and this particular summer I became twitterpated with Catalan. (I remain twitterpated, but nothing compares to the lust I feel about words, verbs, sounds when I first fall in love with a language and do not yet speak it).

Segway-- I have always been interested in world markets, capitalism and language. What languages become economically beneficial to speak? What other reasons to languages have for surviving. Catalan was an obvious choice for these reasons, that and it is the most beautiful language I have ever head. I speak Spanish...and hearing a romance language with so much of what I love of Spanish...sound so...French, and in love...floored me.

I came back to the United States from this trip in love with Catalan and determined to learn to speak it. That is a bit difficult in Gainesville, Florida. There was a course in Catalan I, so I love grew...and rather than join the Peace Corps or go straight to graduate school in Development Studies I packed up my things, sold most of it, and moved to Catalonia-- to a mountainous island called Mallorca.

It was there I learned the power that mountains have in my life, and the person I can be when I'm around them. There were nights I talked friends into putting me on the back of their motorbikes...with Chopin's nocturnes blaring in my headphones as performed live by Claudio Arrau...(he wrote some of those IN Mallorca)...I asked them to go as fast as they could, winding..through narrow mountain valleys, around corners, the moon shining brightly on the water.

I had only lived in Kansas, Chicago, and Florida. never around mountains, never around such natural beauty. It became my goal to find this beauty in my country when I moved back.

My research became focused on language activism during the Franco regime (it was illegal to speak Catalan, physical punishment, jail, etc, and yet...the language thrived) and gender. I critiqued existing literature for crediting public activists for the survival of Catalan when clearly only the rich (afford bail) and public figures (read: male at the time) could engage in that activity. To me what language theorists can garner from that epoch is how the everyday decisions of mothers, parents, workers to use and teach their progeny Catalan were deliberated. I can become intensely interested in anything I immerse myself in-- as everything to me is complex. Especially things that seem simple.

I lived there for two years, and found out my father had terminal cancer. My father and I were very, very close. He was given 6 a frightening prognosis and I returned to the United States immediately. I had earned (while there) a degree in language teaching, and gained teaching experience. I found a job as a teacher in Florida, and walked with him through that final stage of life...and as soon as he moved on applied to return to school to pursue my dream-- a PhD. Starting that with high hopes.

I currently have a crush on Quechua and Aymara. I have chosen to pursue words in the former, as Aymara is not spoken as much in the mountains (as is Quechua).  The Andes are the mountain chain I currently stalk, but I have plans to travel to just be, write, listen to music, hike in Tennessee if I can find someone else who is interested. I want to fall in love with my country the way I am in love with others.

One huge landmark for me in this quest was my first visit out west (right before I moved back to the US. Big Sur, California changed my life. Listening to the Beach Boys at the Henry Miller Library while reading Tropic of Cancer...waiting a Philip Glass show. Later to walk home along cliffs, waves crashing the dark, huge moon. This is the closest thing I found to racing on motorbikes listening to Chopin in this country thus far. I seek to top it. constantly.

I have a video of some pictures from that summer.

I have so much to respond to in your letter, but need to go on a date with my corgi. sorry if this as not the best response, but you can trust it to be sincere!

oh- we listen to this american life on the hikes. it is great.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Good bye, why-poe-lark.

T Hatch says, 'round every corner
by: p:ano

'round every corner
I'm as good as my word so....
'round every corner
there's a good life and there's monsters
and they're all dancing together

they do the madison, they do the foxtrot, they do whatever.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Letters to a Young Poet, Rilke to Kappus Letter 7

Letter Seven

May 14, 1904

My dear Mr. Kappus,

Much time has passed since I received your last letter. Please don't hold that against me; first it was work, then a number of interruptions, and finally poor health that again and again kept me from answering, because I wanted my answer to come to you out of peaceful and happy days. Now I feel somewhat better again (the beginning of spring with its moody, bad-tempered transitions was hard to bear here too) and once again, dear Mr. Kappus, I can greet you and talk to you (which I do with real pleasure) about this and that in response to your letter, as well as I can.

You see: I have copied out your sonnet, * because I found that it is lovely and simple born in the shape that it moves in with such quiet decorum. It is the best poem of yours that you have let me read. And now I am giving you this copy because I know that it is important and full of new experience to rediscover a work of one's own in someone else's handwriting. Read the poem as if you had never seen it before, and you will feel in your innermost being how very much it is your own.

It was a pleasure for me to read this sonnet and your letter, often; I thank you for both.

We know little, but that we must trust in what is difficult is a certainty that will never abandon us; it is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be one more reason for us to do it.

It is also good to love: because love is difficult. For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. That is why young people, who are beginners in everything, are not yet capable of love: it is something they must learn. With their whole being, with all their forces, gathered around their solitary, anxious, upward-beating heart, they must learn to love. But learning-time is always a long, secluded time ahead and far on into life, is - ; solitude, a heightened and deepened kind of aloneness for the person who loves. Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person (for what would a union be of two people who are unclarified, unfinished, and still incoherent - ?), it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person; it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chooses him and calls him to vast distances. Only in this sense, as the task of working on themselves ("to hearken and to hammer day and night"), may young people use the love that is given to them. Merging and surrendering and every kind of communion is not for them (who must still, for a long, long time, save and gather themselves); it is the ultimate, is perhaps that for which human lives are as yet barely large enough.

But this is what young people are so often and so disastrously wrong in doing they (who by their very nature are impatient) fling themselves at each other when love takes hold of them, they scatter themselves, just as they are, in all their messiness, disorder, bewilderment. . . . : And what can happen then? What can life do with this heap of half-broken things that they call their communion and that they would like to call their happiness, if that were possible, and their future? And so each of them loses himself for the sake of the other person, and loses the other, and many others who still wanted to come. And loses the vast distances and possibilities, gives up the approaching and fleeing of gentle, prescient Things in exchange for an unfruitful confusion, out of which nothing more can come; nothing but a bit of disgust, disappointment, and poverty, and the escape into one of the many conventions that have been put up in great numbers like public shelters on this most dangerous road. No area of human experience is so extensively provided with conventions as this one is: there are live-preservers of the most varied invention, boats and water wings; society has been able to create refuges of very sort, for since it preferred to take love-life as an amusement, it also had to give it an easy form, cheap, safe, and sure, as public amusements are.

Whoever looks seriously will find that neither for death, which is difficult, nor for difficult love has any clarification, any solution, any hint of a path been perceived; and for both these tasks, which we carry wrapped up and hand on without opening, there is not general, agreed-upon rule that can be discovered. But in the same measure in which we begin to test life as individuals, these great Things will come to meet us, the individuals, with greater intimacy. The claims that the difficult work of love makes upon our development are greater than life, and we, as beginners, are not equal to them. But if we nevertheless endure and take this love upon us as burden and apprenticeship, instead of losing ourselves in the whole easy and frivolous game behind which people have hidden from the most solemn solemnity of their being, - then a small advance and a lightening will perhaps be perceptible to those who come long after us. That would be much.

We are only just now beginning to consider the relation of one individual to a second individual objectively and without prejudice, and our attempts to live such relationships have no model before them. And yet in the changes that time has brought about there are already many things that can help our timid novitiate.

And one more thing: Don't think that the great love which was once granted to you, when you were a boy, has been lost; how can you know whether vast and generous wishes didn't ripen in you at that time, and purposes by which you are still living today? I believe that that love remains strong and intense in your memory because it was your first deep aloneness and the first inner work that you did on your life. - All good wished to you, dear Mr. Kappus!


Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, April 26, 2010

Today I'm getting into....

The Radio Dept.'s new album, Clinging to a Scheme.

It came out last week, and I was excited to hear that after four years they have finally released another full length. I am still working out how I feel about different tracks, etc, but on the whole I can say I love the album. I take that back, I have loved the song "This Time Around" for months. Anyways...Minimalistic, somewhat repetitive, post-punk, shoe-gazing nerd out. Where was this in my teenage years? honestly. hate to love it as much as I do.

I love that one of the tracks, "Heaven's On Fire,: samples a Thurston Moore quote in the beginning:

Reporter: People see rock’n'roll as youth culture and when youth culture becomes monopolized by big business what are the youth to do? Do you have any idea?

Thurston Moore: I think we should destroy the bogus capital process that is destroying youth culture.

Friday, April 16, 2010

the glory of an open lens

Because of some things happening in my personal life, I have been encouraged to learn more about photography, long exposures, and for the sake of sass, the benefit of keeping one's own lens open- *ahem.*

Here are some artists I have become particularly interested in.

Dean Chamberlain.

Chamberlain was born in Boston, MA ( a very neat town—I visited only last weekend!). He has focused his artistic energy on photography since age 15, and on light painting since his twenties. His unique lighting effects and (super) extended exposure times have attracted me to his work since I first learned about light art/photography. He has truly revolutionized portraiture—his models sitting for up to five hours as he paints the space around them with carried and projected lights of myriad colors, widths, shapes…creating almost mystical images around them. His technique was described by one of his exhibitions as "Painting With Light Through Time and Space."

Toby Keller
Using light to interact with the landscape.

Toby Keller is based out of Santa Barbara, CA that works for the Turning Studio, and owns Burn Blue Photography in Design. Though his other work is remarkable, his light photography/light painting attracts me (the total photo layperson) the most because of the way seemingly artificial light interacts with the natural in his work. Free flowing forms of light seem organic, almost like pure energy, and interact with rocks, the sea, mountains, etc. Keller takes what is already perfect- nature, and makes it seem supernatural almost with energy displayed as ribbons of glowing light.

Cenci Goepel and Jens Warnecke
This duo create stark images that highlight the ghostly, ethereal quality of natural beauty. These images grab me because their technique seems to make the illuminated, often rigid but fluid forms (like liquid metal?) seem to blend in with their backgrounds in a way that makes the landscape look as though it is from some alien planet rather than our own.

Eric Staller
Urban Light Play

In the latte 70's Eric Staller created long time exposures done at night in New York City. These have been exhibitied world wide. Exposures were several minutes in length.

more to come!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"dance me through the panic til' I'm gathered safely in"

I have been listening to a lot of Leonard Cohen at work. Amazing.

(quote from "Dance me to the End of Love." I especially like the live version)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

10 Favorite Public April Fool's Jokes: let's not take ourselves too seriously today!

Nixon Runs Again!
1992: National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation program announced that Richard Nixon, in a surprise move, was running for President again. His new campaign slogan was, "I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't do it again." Accompanying this announcement were audio clips of Nixon delivering his candidacy speech. Listeners responded viscerally to the announcement, flooding the show with calls expressing shock and outrage. Only during the second half of the show did the host John Hockenberry reveal that the announcement was a practical joke. Nixon's voice was impersonated by comedian Rich Little.

Alabama Changes the Value of Pi to make it "more Christian"
1998: The April 1998 issue of the New Mexicans for Science and Reason newsletter contained an article claiming that the Alabama state legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi from 3.14159 to the 'Biblical value' of 3.0. Soon the article made its way onto the internet, and then it rapidly spread around the world, forwarded by email. It only became apparent how far the article had spread when the Alabama legislature began receiving hundreds of calls from people protesting the legislation. The original article, which was intended as a parody of legislative attempts to circumscribe the teaching of evolution, was written by physicist Mark Boslough.
Planetary Alignment Decreases Gravity
1976: The British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 AM a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur that listeners could experience in their very own homes. The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would counteract and lessen the Earth's own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment that this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation. When 9:47 AM arrived, BBC2 began to receive hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman even reported that she and her eleven friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.
Instant Color TV
1962: In 1962 there was only one tv channel in Sweden, and it broadcast in black and white. The station's technical expert, Kjell Stensson, appeared on the news to announce that, thanks to a new technology, viewers could convert their existing sets to display color reception. All they had to do was pull a nylon stocking over their tv screen. Stensson proceeded to demonstrate the process. Thousands of people were taken in. Regular color broadcasts only commenced in Sweden on April 1, 1970.
UFO Lands in London
1989: On March 31, 1989 thousands of motorists driving on the highway outside London looked up in the air to see a glowing flying saucer descending on their city. Many of them pulled to the side of the road to watch the bizarre craft float through the air. The saucer finally landed in a field on the outskirts of London where local residents immediately called the police to warn them of an alien invasion. Soon the police arrived on the scene, and one brave officer approached the craft with his truncheon extended before him. When a door in the craft popped open, and a small, silver-suited figure emerged, the policeman ran in the opposite direction. The saucer turned out to be a hot-air balloon that had been specially built to look like a UFO by Richard Branson, the 36-year-old chairman of Virgin Records. The stunt combined his passion for ballooning with his love of pranks. His plan was to land the craft in London's Hyde Park on April 1. Unfortunately, the wind blew him off course, and he was forced to land a day early in the wrong location.

Flying Penguins
2008: The BBC announced that camera crews filming near the Antarctic for its natural history series Miracles of Evolution had captured footage of Adélie penguins taking to the air. It even offered a video clip of these flying penguins, which became one of the most viewed videos on the internet. Presenter Terry Jones explained that, instead of huddling together to endure the Antarctic winter, these penguins took to the air and flew thousands of miles to the rainforests of South America where they "spend the winter basking in the tropical sun." A follow-up video explained how the BBC created the special effects of the flying penguins.

Metric Time
1975: Australia's This Day Tonight news program revealed that the country would soon be converting to "metric time." Under the new system there would be 100 seconds to the minute, 100 minutes to the hour, and 20-hour days. Furthermore, seconds would become millidays, minutes become centidays, and hours become decidays. The report included an interview with Deputy Premier Des Corcoran who praised the new time system. The Adelaide townhall was even shown sporting a new 10-hour metric clock face. The thumbnail (found at shows TDT Adelaide reporter Nigel Starck posing with a smaller metric clock. TDT received numerous calls from viewers who fell for the hoax. One frustrated viewer wanted to know how he could convert his newly purchased digital clock to metric time.
Big Ben Gets a Make-over
1980: The BBC reported that Big Ben, in order to keep up with the times, was going to be given a digital readout. The announcement received a huge response from listeners shocked and angered by the proposed change. The BBC Japanese service also announced that the clock hands would be sold to the first four listeners to contact them. One Japanese seaman in the mid-Atlantic immediately radioed in a bid.
PETA’s Tournament of Sleeping Fish
In 2000 the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) warned that it planned to sabotage the bass fishing tournament in East Texas's Lake Palestine by releasing tranquilizers into the lake before the tournament. Their announcement stated that "this year, the fish will be napping, not nibbling." State officials took the threat seriously and stationed rangers around the lake in order to stop any tranquilizer-toting PETA activists from drugging the fish, and numerous newspapers reported the threat. Eventually PETA admitted that it had been joking.
Blame it on France: Chunnel Disaster
In 1990 the News of the World reported that the Chunnel project, which was already suffering from huge cost overruns, would face another big additional expense caused by a colossal engineering blunder. Apparently the two halves of the tunnel, being built simultaneously from the coasts of France and England, would miss each other by 14 feet. The error was attributed to the fact that French engineers had insisted on using metric specifications in their blueprints. The mistake would reportedly cost $14 billion to fix.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

songs I love this month!

“If you have lost heart in the Path of Love,
Flee to me without delay
I am a fortress; invincible”
 - Rumi

1. Nada Surf- do it again
2. Patty Griffin- Rain
2. Arcade Fire- Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeah's cover)
3. Coldplay- Kingdom Come
4. Journey- Don't Stop Believin'
5. Grizzly Bear- I live with you
6. Louis Armstrong- A Kiss to Build a Dream On
7. Jimmy Eat World- Futures
8. Band of Horses- Part One
9. Devendra Banhart- Baby
10. Stone Roses- This is the One
11. yeah yeah yeah's- Hysteric (acoustic)  (<3, for real.)
12. Avett Brothers- I and love and you
13. Bridge Over Troubled Water- Simon and Garfunkel
14. You Still Believe In Me - M. Ward
15. Dance Me to the End of Love - Leonard Cohen (the live version)
16. Must I Paint You a Picture? - Billy Bragg
17. When U Love Somebody - Fruit Bats
18. Lucky You- The National

I have always believed in futures.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Album to write to award 2009: Geneva, Russian Circles (2009)

Last year, apparently like many other like minded people in their mid-twenties, I decided it was high time I went back to school. After work I spent between 5pm and 11pm working on graduate school applications. As you might imagine, I listened to many albums and spend hour upon hour using Pandora and Grooveshark. Pandora for when I didn't want to choose/wanted to be suprised, and Grooveshark in order to create my own graduate school application play list. (side note: if any of you aren't yet Pandora AND Grooveshark users, get on it now)

After hours of listening, writing, and deliberating....I am ready to crown the album Geneva by Russian Circles the Album to Write to in 2009.

This albums is a post-rock picnic-- but what other bands don't even achieve with 20 people, Circles does with 3 permanent members. The trio from Chicago has released what is doubtless its best album yet-- gritty, beautiful, urgent, melodic, overcast, gusty, and harsh. Listening to this album makes me want to call up Mike Sullivan, Brian Cook, and Dave Turncrantz myself to thank them for getting through the unusually chilly autumn we had in Florida last year.

My favorite song on the album is Malko. Click to listen.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

earrings- shrink plastic stravaganza.

Craft Offering: Turning a used book and two altoid tins into a jewelry box

Here it is! After the crafty ladies potluck, I had to wait a month or so to post this because it was a gift for my sister, who lives in Washington D.C.

two Altoids tins
paint, and/or any decorative paper or images you like
two dresser knobs
Mod Podge
box cutter
old book
spray polyurethane
hot glue


1. First make sure the book you have is thick enough for the tins to fit.

2. Paint the drawers and/or line them with fabric. Paint your knobs if they look a little boring, and hot glue them to the tins.

3. Measure the book and make a mark at the midpoint Mark the mid-points of the left half and the right half. Now mark the mid-points on your tins (I used a silver Sharpie). Take a look at where they are situated and make sure that's where you want them to end up.

4. You'll make two pockets in the book using your box cutter. Trace around the tins and mark how deep you want the drawers to go (the length of the tin, plus about a quarter-inch). Draw a line straight across the book so that both drawers will stop at the same place.

5. Start slicing the pages, using your ruler to guide your knife. Cut a little outside what you traced to allow the drawers to slide in and out smoothly. Keep cutting until you have two rectangular notches. You don't need to go all the way to the back cover.

6. Try it out and make sure it sits inside nicely. Carve away any more pages as needed.

7. I used decorative hand-made paper I like and Modge Podge to decorate the cover and painted the pages. There are lots of possibilities for decorating the cover using paint, clay, glitter, silk flowers, etc. I even used the name of the book on its side because it was meaningful in this situation. I cut it out of the title page in the book and modge podged it to the spine.

8. Next, clamp your book firmly and spray the whole thing with polyurethane. It may need two coats to keep it completely sealed and the cover attached.

TIPS:• Follow the directions on the polyurethane can (I actually used liquid polyurethane)• I prefer using a box cutter as opposed to an X-acto because the dull blades can be snapped off• Sit the book at the edge of the table to avoid nicking the table when cutting the pages• Watch your fingers!• When spraying your book, clamping is a must for it to stay sealed. I ended up piling heavy things on top of it, and it definitely wasn't nearly as sealed as it would have been.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Featured Web Resource: This Emotional Life

A reminder:
I know I'm not writing as much about "SEXY" topics such as feminism, animal rights, and the politics of pop culture as I did on the old blog. It'll happen. For now, though I need to keep things "POSI" and relatively neutral for reasons relating to a new job, major changes, new family members, etc. Once I feel more comfortable in this e-space, I'll go for it. I'm still me, y'all.

Today's goodie:

Today, I wanted to write about PBS's project "This Emotional Life." I learned about This Emotional Life at a conference for Family Home Child Care providers in Tallahassee. Of course, the speaker only covered early learning/early education, but I have spent considerable time since looking over myriad parts of this website. It is absolutely fantastic.

The project was initially a three-part documentary about relationships and the human experience. It's classic PBS- scholarly, multidisciplinary, methodical, and takes a considerable shot at being humorous. The documentary was shown in three parts on PBS, and is "good." The web resource, however, is dynamic, helpful, careful, interesting, engaging and covers more than 1000 topics related to health, well-being, and human relationships.

Just a glance at the home page will give you a good idea of the scope of this project:intimate relationships, autism, having a spouse with bipolar disorder, meditation, happiness, attachment in early childhood, how relationships affect cancer, etc.

Each topic contains articles, videos and something that I feel makes this project revolutionary:PBS hooks users up with local resources they call "locate mental health and well-being support organizations" that can provide information, action, or support.

That's right.
Worried about a friend's eating habits?
Concerned about patterns in your relationships?
Wondering what the most important factor in your child's reading development is at her/his age? love or infatuation? does my child have autism? how would I know?
how do I help a family member with a drug addiction?

PBS will hook you up with organizations (like my current employer) that can help you find the resources that you need.

Pretty fucking cool. Thanks, PBS. That's much cooler than showing a program, leaning back in your thrifted desk chair and saying, "the information is out there on the airwaves, we've done our part." Connecting people with resources. amen.

This Emotional Life

check it out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In memory of Donald Charles Marks Sr. on his birthday

Today is my father's birthday. Friday is mine. This is the first year I've had March without him. In a way it feels like both of our birthdays are gone, forever. The way we've always celebrated is, so I decided to start a new tradition. We were going to dig a bonfire pit and light a fire. We were also going to go and pick a plant and plant it in the yard for him. I wanted something I could visit, tend to, look at.

Then today, it hit me. I may move, and it is hard to share the joy and peace to be found in bonfires with loved ones that also miss him. So...

I named a star after him. Donald Charles Marks Sr. I know one cannot really and seriously own a star. I know we are all in our totality connected to every bit of the universe, in its totality (or rather, I believe). It just felt like it would honor him. He would think it's really badass, which is central to this plot. Secondly, I can readily see his constellation (pisces) from where I live this time of year. That's his sign, also.
Most imporantly, there will be something out there in the universe I can concretely connect with him at all times. Sometimes I need that. I'm not always so "zen" with people telling me my dad is out there, he is still aware of me at some level. This will be easier to think about. The company is also going to have a telescope take a photograph of the star and mail it to me. I will hang that in my house, near my bed or desk. I will send it to anyone who wants a copy.
A link to the certificate can be found here:
way cooler than a peace lily or rosebush, and for everyone.
thanks for 24.6 years of awesomeness.

Visual Magnitude Indicator: 10.1
Catalog Number: TYC 4667-166-1
Declination: -3° 15' 56"
Right Ascension: 0h 17m 8s

Constellation: Pisces

Monday, March 8, 2010

Harbinger Hummus recipe: hummus is a a grrl's (or corgi's) best friend.

Chickpeas truly are a grrl's, corgi's, boy's, vegetarian's, vegan's, meat eater's, fire fighter's, sky diver's, writer's, academic's, land scape architect's, person's best friend.

In this blog entry, I will discuss some of the benefits of this amazing legume and post a recipe for some amazing, zesty, and mildly spicy hummus that absolutely blows my mind.

Rethinking the chickpea (garbanzo bean, Indian pea, ceci bean, Bengal gram). Did you know that chickpeas are among the earliest cultivated vegetables? In addition to being low fat, they are also chock full of protein and dietary fiber. They also contain molybdenum, folic acid, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium. They can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels. This makes them a great food for diabetics and insulin resistant individuals. When served with high quality grains (quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat bread), they can be a complete protein food.

One way chickpeas help you GET AWESOME: The molybdenum in chickpeas helps you to detox after eating those sulfite rich foods (you can find those nasty sulfites in anything from wine to lunch meat). Without sufficient molybdenum, sulfite can give you headaches, a racing heart, and less healthy skin. ick.

Hummus, to me, is by far the most delicious and scandalous way to enjoy this amazing legume. This hummus recipe is one I have adapted from How it all Vegan (vegan cook book STAPLE for the veggie beginner or vegan cooking sorceress).

It makes two cups, and will knock the mittens off of anyone you know who likes chickpeas.

You need
1 small onion, chopped
a bunch of minced garlic! as much as you can handle!
a splash of olive oil
2 1/2 cups cooked OR canned chickpeas
3/4 cup tahini (about 200 grams)
1 1/2 tbsp Bragg's OR soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice
1.5 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt

VARIATIONS: use roasted garlic, buy canned jalapenos in their own spicy delicious vinegar and add not only the jalapenos, but also some of the sauce. Serve with a jalapeno slice on top.

In a small saucepan, saute onions and garlic in a splash of oil on medium heat until onions are translucent. In a blender or food processor, blend the sauteed onions, chickpeas, tahini, Bragg's/soy sauce, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne and salt until you reach desired consistency.

Serve it in a cute bowl, with some cut veggies, pita etc.

NUTRITION BONUS! The Tahini is a great source of calcium! If you use Bragg's, it contains 16 healthy and important amino acids! Lemon juice has got that vitamin C, yo!

We use it for: vegan burger topping, mixing in with pasta when it doesn't seem zesty enough, eating it by itself, eating on half of a vegan bagel for breakfast, impressing people at potlucks, trying not to feed it to the corgi.

Caution: Garbanzo beans can cause an allergic reaction in those who are sensitive to them. Always consult a physician before deciding to make significant changes to your diet.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Devil's Paintbrush Road

I adore the song Devil's Paintbrush Road by the Wailin' Jennys. How could I not?

Live and die and gone. Wanna marry myself to the whole wide world, live and die and gone.

a poem that I enjoyed today.

The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down,
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do

Monday, February 15, 2010