Tuesday, December 30, 2003

and for good measure:

i am playing catch up with pictures.

damon and i had lunch a couple of weeks ago. it is so important to me that he and i continue to have a meaningful friendship.

George W. Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton are finally on the same ticket -- the most admired man and woman in America, according to a poll released Monday.

When people were asked to name the man they admire the most, Bush was picked by 29 percent. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Pope John Paul II were named by 4 percent and former President Clinton was named by 3 percent, according to the CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll.

Sen. Clinton, was named by 16 percent, while talk show host Oprah Winfrey was picked by 7 percent, first lady Laura Bush by 6 percent and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice by 4 percent.

I'll stop ragging on Oprah. But.... wow.

I'm supposed to be going to feed a guinea pig right now, but i have to disturb the happy cat in my lap. There was much editing today. I'm feeling great.

i love the word "lake" -- there's something satisfying about the combination of consonants and flat a sound.

here's greylakefun:

i wanted to kick the greens and blues up a couple notches for this one, but i left it alone -- i'm stunned that i captured this with my camera phone:

there was much reading

and putting on of shoes

and hanging out with cousins (that's karl)

(mom and rich talking to family)


and just for fun (rich and i got stuck in traffic on our way home) :
up early this morning -- i'm about to shower, yoga and begin editing. i'm lingering at my desk because the sun is just starting to pinch the sky into light blue. beringer is keeping me warm as i play with one of my new toys: photoshop

oh, i talked to my mom yesterday. she finally listened to the over the rhine cds i gave her. she and i got up early one morning at the lakehouse. our bare feet on cold tile, we cracked the blinds and whispered in furtive tones as we awaited a sunrise that wasn't to be (the ever-greying morning was satisfying, though)

thank goodness my sister sleeps with earplugs (we all crashed in the big living room) and rich sleeps like the dead.

lake pictures (and many others) soon to follow.

Monday, December 29, 2003

some pictures from our monday night discussion group:

Friday, December 26, 2003

finally got a shot at internet access this morning and my email is down. my yahoo inbox is likely full as hell till sunday (when i return to dallas.)

i struggled some yesterday w/ holiday blues, or holiday irritation maybe. it gets exhausting, navigating the complex web of expectations each individual holds for me... resisting jumping into mediator role when conflict arises (and there's plenty of it astir this holiday season)... trying despite all this to enjoy the company of people i really love. blah blah blah, right?

so, last night i was sitting in mom's guestroom, trying to write on my laptop while my mom and sister sat at the foot of the bed watching world idol. their comments about the contestants and judges were bearable (her hair looks pitiful!) to (that kid from norway got a huge gap between his front teeth!) until they showed footage from the arab competition.

oh, please
why don't they sing stuff that has an appeal to most of the world?

and then the woman who won that competition and had gone on to world idol came on to sing a traditional song (read: this fucker wasn't western) and the folks w/ the show commented that she's the only one not singing in english and they wondered how that would affect her chances of winning... my mom said

i'm surprised they didn't make her wear a veil

i got up and went to the other end of the house to read some caputo.


i decided to do yoga last night around nine o'clock -- needing the quiet, the gentle breathing and reflection.

i've been so frustrated lately by seeing people hurt each other, to see the pain that people are in. i remembered last night that the course of one's life is largely one's choice -- that i can't fix my loved ones' problems, that their situations are of their choosing. i can only control shnn -- if i allow these problems swirling around me to embitter and frustrate me, that's my choice. i'm choosing misery right along with them.

last night i went to bed at peace.


i have to run -- my time on the computer is up for now. about to head to the lake for a couple of days. no internet or phone down there. it should be good.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

some holiday thoughts from joshua
taking a second to breathe
i had an amazing day today, until about four hours ago when my sewing machine staged a small rebellion.

fuck fuck fuck.

no one is getting any goddamn placemats this year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Rumsfeld Made Iraq Overture in '84 Despite Chemical Raids

Newly declassified documents show that the U.S. was eager to improve ties with President Saddam Hussein despite his use of chemical weapons.

Mr. Rumsfeld, who ran a pharmaceutical company at the time, was tapped by Secretary of State George P. Shultz to reinforce a message that a recent move to condemn Iraq's use of chemical weapons was strictly in principle and that America's priority was to prevent an Iranian victory in the Iran-Iraq war and to improve bilateral ties.

During that war, the United States secretly provided Iraq with combat planning assistance, even after Mr. Hussein's use of chemical weapons was widely known. The highly classified program involved more than 60 officers of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who shared intelligence on Iranian deployments, bomb-damage assessments and other crucial information with Iraq.

how dare we respond in shock and revulsion when we discover mass graves in iraq? our country's actions show our complacence with this sort of mass-murdering activity.

i just heard on the radio that in a recent poll 53% of americans believe that saddam had something to do with 9/11. my mother even believes this ("he hates us -- why wouldn't he have helped?")

the not-so-subtle propaganda is working. i'm not trying to be overly-suspicious, but seriously: during bush's press conference post-saddam's-capture he constantly referenced 9/11. not to mention that the kurds' role in capturing saddam was downplayed (thanks to dan for the link)

kausar remarked recently that life here just doesn't seem real in light of all the shit that's going on

the sheer commercialism of xmas seems perverse
struggling with allowing the holidays to have some significant meaning
because i like buying people shit
and i understand the place of tradition in what comprises the human narrative

i mean, there's something really great about us engaging in the same activity at the same time every year, when the weather is just so (or, if you live in texas.... well let's just say it's warm and sunny today)
it's really cool that our holidays occur on a pagan calendar. we get xmas at the winter solstice
there's something about that that makes me feel good,

that we're connected to something bigger than our human interaction
as the planets align in a certain way
many travel home, people spend time with their families -- they email their old college roomie that the haven't talked to in a couple of years -- it's a time of reconnection

i've got to go; i'm going to be late for work. but i have more thoughts to share this morning, light and warmth beating down upon me and the cats sunbathing on the windowsill....

Sunday, December 21, 2003

just in from target and the bookstore. the day has been full -- yoga, much sewing, reading, napping with the cats, a failed attempt to turn my mattress (the xmas lights complicated the already impossible process), etc. i'm enjoying a little down time before venturing out to the meridian room for a veggie burger and a beer. i've been craving a shiner for some odd reason all day.

i need to email justin canada.

i'm feeling guilty for buying myself some books today.

i love the glenn mitchell show on npr -- he's hosting a holiday show tonight that is really fascinating. holiday songs, an interview w/ this famous composer (can't rememer his name just yet) about the history of carols, talk of last night's solstice, etc. i was driving home, listening to a lyle lovett xmas song when i got smacked with a huge dose of the blues. what the hell? i've been doing great. laboring over these placemats (that are turning out really cool!), i've got lights up, i'm going to decorate my damn car tonight, i'm working on a real editing project at work, i just got a raise, blah blah blah

there's something so scripted about holiday blues -- i'm almost enjoying it. must be the music in the background. the neville brothers are singing about the christmas blues. damn.

i haven't been blogging like usual. still lacking focus... there's just so much going on right now. i feel the "add" kick in every time i sit down to write -- there's too much i want to communicate.

i got a new bag today.


my stomach still hurts from laughing so much last night -- i spent a great evening with bethany, janie, jessie and beth's godfamily. oh yes, and four dogs and five cats and two fish!! i wish ayesha had been there. i was overwhelmed by the presence of so many affectionate animals.

merry "twistmas" is playing right now. twist, santa twist! -----------wow.

i was supposed to see my children last night, but the parents cancelled last-minute.

off to get food.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

high praise from the captain

...and shan's blog is the blog we should all strive to one day create. the nice balance between "what i did today" and "what i THINK today."

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

i'm aware that i should be napping right now (i'm catching a midnight showing of lord of the rings) -- and believe me, my body is indeed tired. but i'm mentally energetic, and have been ever since leaving work tonight around six. what a rough day -- i was mired in the business of numbers for some nine-odd-hours. it's nice to have a little free time, to sit and think, to say hello to the cats and finally listen to this new mix tape

today i had to take a break from the vexing columns, from the pencil and calculator and quickenbooks. so i put on my jacket and walked around the block.

i should do this more often! i should make leah walk with me!

there's something i feel like i'm missing, living in dallas. the only way we get around is our cars (dan has a great take on this that i find compelling; i'll come in and edit in a link later), and we speed by all the details.

just the smells alone as i circled (squared?) the block... our building is right next to a solid waste management facility, a jack in the box, a scooter store that recently replaced a quickielube and a whole foods bake house. (i wondered at the smell of bread and thought for an odd moment that they'd reopened the ms. bairds plant by smu. i wonder when someone will buy that land and put up a shi-shi high rise bullshit funland like mockingbird station.) ah, yes, my building is also adjacent to the mysteriously-named "energy square."

the walk was a good meditative break.

now it's time to go have a glass of wine, some pizza and conversation at the rudds' abode.

(something i heard about on npr and intend to share my thoughts on when time stretches before me a little more kindly)

i survived a trip to the bookstore this afternoon without buying anything for myself. crazy!
congrats to my friend kausar (below) -- he's now a published scientist!

Monday, December 15, 2003

i am soooo jealous.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

it's 29 degrees out right now.

i wish it were snowing.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

spellcheck wants the word hiyam to be hymn
you want to know something cool?

if i focus in just the right way, at just the right time i can conjure the experience of thenightathedamienriceconcert
(it helps to have the music playing, of course)

but just a little spot of joy, the sacrosanct for a moment occupying that which is known as shnn
or her consciousness, or all the physical bits that are contained within this expanse of skin
if you breathe in time with the music you feel so much more alive, like your lungs are somehow connected to something "out there"
something other
and of course, not

it's like tantric sex with the world, with being and meaning and music and feeling

that's the thing about that concert
it was a different kind of communication
i would never call that experience entertainment
the band, and the holy little sparks of intelligence populating the audience participated in creating the night, creating the music, engaging in becoming

you know those experiences. those that define you as a person, or rather, those moments of self-creation. i'm reminded of the wild galloping trek across a danger meadow, of the blue mat with a face mask and some cheap tequila, of bohemian rhapsody with heather in the big blue monster car, of the anti-climactic xmas adventure, of zeppelin with hiyam, of guitar-time with jen, writing songs with tim, of hallelujah in the cab of a truck, off-roading with jacob, of Visser and Dustin and Jakarta and Tarmac and Mexico and Luna....

i want to tell you all of these stories, but i have to go live some right now.

feeling inspired, after a string of nights that weren't-so-much
(read: depression)

what to do? keep typing here, fingers flying over the little black keys communicating with the world and those who search for odd things on google (like "old paper allergy" and "beefers in mansfield" and you -- whomever googles "tedd holladay" fortnightly to access sdt)?

lie down and allow damien rice to traverse the shallow distance between the stereo and my bed? swallow the sounds whole, the words a straight shot to my brain, the play of voice and guitar spreading from each vertebrate down my spine in a delicate sunburst of nerves, up through my shoulders, through the sections of my back, surrounding me with warmth

the cello reverberating a rumba down to my nether regions

and in the pit of my stomach, the condensed network of nerves nestled there pulsing a happy reproach to a former shnn
of course there's meaning
of course there's meaning
of course there's meaning


or perhaps i'll pull out a blanket and meditate in Viparita Karani


Friday, December 12, 2003

they're talking about liquor on the glenn mitchell show right now. i was just thinking how wonderful a hot toddy sounds on this day... except i've never really actually tasted one. my attempts to make one in colorado failed miserably. anyone know how to make a warm alcoholic beverage that's yummy?

i hope the rain continues into the night, so that i can enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

it's heartening to know there are so many gatherings within 25 miles of me.
NBC viewers in a handful of states may not see Al Sharpton's scheduled appearance on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend.
last night we learned, among other things, that we have the concept of original sin because augustine failed to learn greek.
bethany captures the delicate torture that is forced boredom

you've never known the powerful length of a minute, the excruciating stretch of time, the inhumane space of an hour until you've been paid to sit and do nothing for 40+ hours a week. in my temping heyday (hayday?) i was the clockwatcher. all of my friends who made their cash scurrying around dallas restaurants serving food to assholes could never seem to understand.

beth, i feel your pain.
Competiton in the UK book business heats up as supermarkets slash prices

When supermarkets discount books they are invariably selling books for less than they paid for them, so they are using them as loss leaders. What never seems to occur to the reader is what that means is that they are paying extra for their food because they are making their money back somewhere else.

There is a feeling in the trade amongst publishers that the supermarkets have gone too far. There is now a situation where, for an independent bookseller, it is now cheaper to buy books from the supermarket than it is from its wholesaler.

Some of Britain's bestselling titles sound quite strange:

--a book on punctuation
--Idler magazine’s Fifty Crap Towns, "a guide to Britain’s most depressing places to live"
--Paul Hartley's Marmite Cookbook
--and the ever-popular Fifty Ways to Kill a Slug

Monday, December 08, 2003

i woke up feeling ill this morning. fighting off the doldroms, mucking through this part of the day, feeling limp and lifeless, unmotivated and entrenched in the lovely business of bookkeeping.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Tough New Tactics by U.S. Tighten Grip on Iraq

As the guerrilla war against Iraqi insurgents intensifies, American soldiers have begun wrapping entire villages in barbed wire.

American soldiers are demolishing buildings thought to be used by Iraqi attackers. They have begun imprisoning the relatives of suspected guerrillas, in hopes of pressing the insurgents to turn themselves in.

The Americans embarked on their get-tough strategy in early November, goaded by what proved to be the deadliest month yet for American forces in Iraq, with 81 soldiers killed by hostile fire. The response they chose is beginning to echo the Israeli counterinsurgency campaign in the occupied territories.

So far, the new approach appears to be succeeding in diminishing the threat to American soldiers. But it appears to be coming at the cost of alienating many of the people the Americans are trying to win over.
Afghan Villagers Mourn 9 Children Killed by U.S.

As the men showed journalists and a government delegation around the scene of the attack, they wondered aloud why the Americans attacked so indiscriminately when searching for just one man and why innocent civilians had to die when the man was not even in the village.

Captain Cordeiro confirmed that they had found nine children killed and one adult, who could have been the suspect targeted, he said. But he admitted that they had not talked to villagers or actually identified the dead man.

Villagers, including the man's mother, said the dead man was Abdul Muhammad, 25, who had just returned from Iran 10 days ago, where he had been working for three years digging wells. She had finally arranged his wedding and he had returned for his engagement party, which was just five days away.

"I was so pleased to have my son back. And now he is dead," said his mother, Guldana.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed in American air strikes in the two years since the United States launched its campaign against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. After several disastrous raids last year when planes bombed officials loyal to the Karzai government and in one incident killed some 48 civilians in a raid on a wedding party in July last year....

Friday, December 05, 2003

i wish the snow was here!

Thursday, December 04, 2003

i have mastered the mystery of the bluetooth connection!

here are some pictures i took with my phone tonight at the squires. chase worked on math homework; annika and i worked on her christmas list:

after telling them stories about my thanksgiving and the goats, annika has decided that she'd be just as happy with a baby goat as with a real hamster.

and hey, the evening wasn't all (home)work. we got in a couple rounds of hide and go seek before bedtime.

given the amount of time i've spent lately on the phone (mostly on hold) with my phone companies (att wireless and sbc), i found this nytimes article on "accidental" overcharges fascinating.

they sure as hell like to nickel and dime you to death.

((i'm currently on hold, waiting to cancel my mmode account (it's att wireless' internet access from your phone plan -- there's seemingly no way to cancel this online). this thing, forgive me my romany ancestors, is such a gyp. for eight bucks a month you get alloted a single megabyte of data. my forays into mmode have consisted of two unsuccessful attempts to access my yahoo mail -- and i've already used over 250 kb!))

my battle with technology continues. sigh.

yesterday i returned a little piece of hardware, this bluetooth usb device about the size of my thumb, to compusa. about an hour later i discovered that i need said device, unless i'd like to install an ir data port in my laptop. grr.

and so today, second day in a row, i used my lunch break to brave the red hallowed aisles of compusa and the lurching apathy of the dork employees.* i strode purposefully towards the laptop accessories aisle, and found my desired item.

and then i gawked. i gaped. i sighed, and then sighed again, surrendering the victory to the tech gods. i walked up to the counter and paid twenty bucks more than i originally shelled out -- last week's super fun christmas special was, apparently, over.

*i checked dictionary.com, and lurching is an apt modifier in this case

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

write more on:
deconstruction as a certain experience of the impossible

Monday, December 01, 2003

i intended to finish this post i did last night on the bonhoeffer documentary, but the day's demands prevented me from doing so.

perhaps wednesday? late tonight?

about to head over to dan's for caputo with some pomo smarties.

i was going to say that i'm struggling with depression today, but it's more like i'm moving through the day along with it, or through it. fill in your own preposition!

i've got some thoughts on the damien rice concert (other than those i tipsily pounded out in the immediate post-experience glow) as well (for now check out theyblinked's take on the evening).

and some thoughts on church in general, and that thing they called "worship" and how the fuck to articulate what it is that i do believe (without relying on the copout of listing the things i don't believe.)

i'm not not feeling particularly articulate right now.

however, i do have my very first piece of artwork ever. i'd take a picture and post it, but i have to see if i can shower and get in the car in fifteen minutes so as to avoid being late. i'm always fucking late.
december 10th: one of our authors will be on oprah for the full hour.

unless, of course, oprah reschedules again.
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