— this is really happening

January, 2008 Monthly archive

My new favorite web spot is www.ineedtostopsoon.com, the virtual home of Marc Horowitz (thank you TDJ for this beyond precious fwd). Marc is looking for dinner companions, if you’re interested. He has quite infamously opened his house to "the entire universe" if anyone would like to join him for dinner. This invite has awarded him quite the seat with the publicity heads. He’s been highlighted on ABC, CBS, Fox News (yuck!), CNN American Morning, Inside Edition, Good Morning America as well as one of those late night shows, Conan or other. (Let’s really try not to confuse them though; those late night guys wouldn’t want that.)

Marc’s site has a slogan: It’s time to do something about something. I shuddered when I read it, and it found me doing something of a giggle too. It got me thinking, have I been living up to the righteous epic beauty of my own slogan, "this is really happening?" Have I done it justice? Injustice? Why aren’t I on on Good Morning America? Am I doing enough "happening" to legitimize the "really?" The answer is NO. No, I am not.

The solution is simple: to borrow Marc’s inspiration (and I don’t think he’s going to stop anytime soon btw), it’s time to do something about something while this is really happening. Like folks, it’s time to really DO something ABOUT something. Okay?! Or, it might be time to do SOMETHING about SOMETHING. I’ll let you know when I decide which one it is. In fact, you’ll be the first to know, I promise. For starters, it’s time to follow through on some ideas. The camera is helping, but I need man power. This is a shout out to anyone who wants to start doing more somethings with me, then documenting it with camera or other (cuz that’s kind of my thing), and then doing more somethings, documenting, and so on. Feel free to email me if you’d like to participate. And for the record, work is not doing something. So don’t even try to use that as an excuse.

ping.jpgLet’s get back to the real hero of the day though: Marc. He does all kinds of things with his days, this guy. Actually I’ve just written him a long, long email letting the little bumble bee know just how much I like his buzz. His Honesty T-shirts are bloody brill. Here he is pointing out his own Honesty T that says "I suck at ping pong." It’s good to unload our hidden secrets on those around us, no? Mine would have to say, "I cry sometimes when I’m watching football." It’s true!! What does your Honesty T-shirt say? This is where a comments section rules.

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Had he been staring at me at about 9:15am this morning, Andy Warhol would have been completely within bounds to say his famous quote, "I used to think that everything was just being funny but now I don’t know. I mean, how can you tell?"

At that hour I was roughly one mile into the longest marathon training run of my life. I fit the rainy-day runner’s part: tight waterproof beanie, don’t-eff-with-me sun glasses, wicking emerald top, black glove liners, and even a belted waist with water bottle strap-on. And to boot, we can’t forget those all-too-recognizable white earbuds hammering Lee Burridge house bounce from my iPod into my head. But at around 9:14am that whole get-up wasn’t going to do jack crap for me because somebody upstairs knew this kid needed a good spanking. At first it started to drizzle. Fifteen seconds later, aforementioned somebody let out a lightning clap that was heard in Louisiana and it started to hail. I mean, it started to fricking explode in the sky. They always say golfball-sized hail so I’m going to say football-sized to change it up. It was really really really not okay. I ran down 6th Street trying to puff up my bad ass feathers and endure (I mean, those folks were pointing at me from under the bus shelter—I must have looked cool, right?), but it wasn’t long before I burst into a sprint and gunned it to the 76 gas station on University Ave.

It was here that Andy’s quote, and the real purpose of this post unfolded. Aside from me and the gentleman who was working inside with the goodies for selling, the gas station was empty. I shook off my clothes, beats still pumping in my ears, and started to look out at the splendor of weather patterns overhead. Occasional cars drove by and saw me there. Some people smiled at me. One guy and his wife (I just feel like they were married) even rolled down their window while they waited for the light to turn and yelled out, "Maybe it’s time to move to Miami, huh!" When the weather strikes, it’s just lovely how the social walls come crashing down and we’re all in it together.

As the deluge continued, I started to feel the scene’s magic. I was really allowed to be standing there under the gas station awnings. The part of the stranded runner was being played by me, and I made sense there, not just to myself, but to everyone around me. Yes, it was only a gas station, but during those ten minutes it belonged to me and I was on display to the world and all who drove by understood what was going on.

Just as I was enjoying this revelatory moment the music in my ears got really, really good. Nothing like house music to make me want to move my ass—-and so I did. None too fast, I started to shake it like a polaroid picture. It was glorious. We’re talking full-fledged, full-body, Soul Train in the house. I danced it out, and in, and up, for that matter. I was sure as sure could be that I would have made the best Nike ad in history. There was even a short time I thought I would have to forego the run and just stay and dance, but the water soon subsided and off I went to complete the rest of my run, rain free. It was epic.

My only wish is that I’d seen the whole thing from across the street. That way Andy Warhol and I could have marvelled together as that weird runner girl totally owned that gas station at 9:!5am on a Sunday.

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Inspired by a blog that I like to read, here are some of my favorite articles, videos, games, photos, announcements, forums, and designy bits that I linked to in 2007. Links are the joyous strings that allow little old me and little old yous to connect this to that. (I will expand on this list as I remember more.)

1. A video of the mittens when they were tiny shminees.
2. I’ve watched this robot dance video by David Elsewhere at least 800 times.
3. Photo of the snow imprint left by an owl capturing prey.
4. Airport security forces man to destroy vintage wine worth $800. Hm.
5. My favorite print company. (Portland, OR)
6. Witness: See it, film it, change it.
7. Funny cats, the MOST classic pick me up video.
8. Imagine the farm on which you have successfully grown canola seeds for over 40 years is suddenly infiltrated by genetically-modified canola seeds flying through the air from a mega-collosul-global-agri-tyrant farm belonging to Monsanto Corporation miles away. Then imagine that Monsanto demands you pay their Technology Fee (the fee farmers must pay to grow Monsanto’s genetically engineered products). Then imagine you refuse because you had nothing to do with their crappy genetically-modded seeds anyway. So they sue you. This is Percy Schmeiser’s story.
9. Bicycles take over in Germany.
10. 71 year old Japanese farmer grows 11 different fruits on a single tree. Yeah boy!
11. Green Jobs Act of 2007 passes in the House by a vote of 26 to 18!
12. Demonoid.com, a highly coveted username gets you onto the world’s largest bit torrent network.
13. PowerShift 2007, largest youth-lead Energy Conference in history!
14. Birthplaces of Mississippi Blues Artists, a must see map.
15. One of the most beautiful personal websites I’ve ever seen.
16. At East Bay Food Not Bombs meeting last night I learned about the brutal killing of Gary King Jr. by an Oakland Police Officer on December 15th, 2007.
17. I heart the Receiver Gallery in San Francisco.
18. Use Flickr to search for whatever you want to see, in this case, Iceland.
19. Kate Sutton, sweetest tweet tweet artist.
20. Girls make history by sweeping top honors in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, the U.S.’s most coveted science award.
21. The Hisotry Channel’s The Universe series, an interactive experience.
22. Apartment Therapy for when you want to scavenge for amazing decorations but you don’t have the cash.
23. Qwerty keyboard rings, for that special occasion.
24. Dave Malloy mentioned on Pitchfork (scroll down to Sufjan)
25. Social Explorer, interactive demographic maps.
26. An article on commuting, most Americans do too much of this.
27. A marathon training wizzbang dream, Mapmyrun.com. (see my profile!)

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No I’m not speaking gibberish, they’re Polish names. Many of you folks probably know that, despite the sort of Double Jeopardy pronunciation of them both. It was on New Year’s Day four years ago that I sat with a past love, tucked tight under a California tree at the top of a hill many miles from here, reading Milosz’s poetry and Issac Bashevis Singer short stories to each other. A day not to be forgetten.

In these first few hours of the new year, the picture is different surely and my lovely company is different as well, but the words on those pages are not. I’ve gone back to read both authors in between the surfing lessons (which is scaring the bejesus out of me) and War & Peace (which is amazing). When I read these books, get lost in ’em weeeee, I immediately want to write, and then I find my eloquence fading ‘er … scratch that, late to arrive. I’m still such a child! Thank the books, the all of them. Bless ’em all. Deep honor. Sweet humility. So for now I’ll just read what others have written, and share bleeps of it with you.

And Yet The Books

And yet the books will be there on the shelves, separate beings,
That appeared once, still wet
As shining chestnuts under a tree in autumn,
And, touched, coddled, began to live
In spite of fires on the horizon, castles blown up,
Tribes on the march, planets in motion.
“We are, ” they said, even as their pages
Were being torn out, or a buzzing flame
Licked away their letters. So much more durable
Than we are, whose frail warmth
Cools down with memory, disperses, perishes.
I imagine the earth when I am no more:
Nothing happens, no loss, it’s still a strange pageant,
Women’s dresses, dewy lilacs, a song in the valley.
Yet the books will be there on the shelves, well born,
Derived from people, but also from radiance, heights.

Czeslaw Milosz

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And look, I’m too much of a code geek not to show you this brilliant guy.

See you all in 2thousandand8! After years of avoiding it, like seriously down-right running like hell from my inner Balkan, I am finally kissing off 2007 in Macedonian style tonight, raising my billowy, big, brobdingnagian rainbow flag at the ANNUAL NEW YEAR’S EVE BALKAN BASH at Ashkenaz. Naturally, I pleaded for techno but I was poo-poo’d by the group. Naw, I’m making a show – I’m sure it will be a yak of a good time. Full report on your desk tomorrow.

Party people, I look forward to our advents this new year, the infinity symbol of the eight pasted beside our every date in our every datebook. Tonight as we fall asleep, let’s lie down beside the passing Christmas tree and be offerings to the Gods of 2008. To glory, gumption, and goodwill!

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