Saturday, June 30, 2012

Freedom in the 21st Century

Another favorite song from Jack White's Blunderbuss called "Freedom at 21."

Favorite line:
Smile on her face
She does what she damn well please



(Yeah)
Cut off the bottoms of my feet
Make me walk on salt
Take me down to the police
Charge me with assault
A smile on her face
She does what she wants to me

That's right and
She don't care what kind of wounds she's inflicted on me
She don't care what color bruises that she's leavin' on me
'Cuz she's got freedom in the 21st century
(Alright)

(Listen)
Two black gadgets in her hands
All she thinks about
No responsibility no guilt or morals
Cloud of judgement
Smile on her face
She does what she damn well please

(Right)
And she don't care about the things people used to do
She don't care that what she does has an effect on you
She's got freedom in the 21st century

Cut off the bottoms of my feet (Cut off the bottoms of my feet)
Make me walk on salt (Make me walk on salt)
Take me down to the police (Take me down to the police)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nonplussed


Lately, I'm feeling nonplussed about blogging and social media in general. Feels like, too often, I'm looking at life through a social media lens -- making up blog titles as I go along,  picking a picture and telling a story that is now in the past. As I post pictures, I look at its origin and there is no longer a recognizable connection. Plants grow, seasons change, people come and go. Blogging puts me in a constant state of  looking back. Being in the NOW is all there really is...so why blog? Stock answers from bloggers everywhere are "I want to share my story. I want to contribute to a community. I want to keep a journal of my life. People need to hear my story."

I just don't feel that way. I don't want to share my most intimate personal thoughts and feelings on the internet. Afterall, who are you? Why would I share my secrets with you? I cherish my privacy and wouldn't trade it for a million "followers." Therefore, my blog is very surface and i like it that way.

All this yelling into the ether at each other is borderline schizophrenic --  "I had bacon for breakfast...oink oink!" "I forgot to brush my teeth today -- anyone have a toothbrush I can borrow?" "Look at my outfit, isn't it just like that really expensive one on that pop fashion blog?" "I'm special and must tell others in order to seek validation."

So much useless chatter and narcissism. Honestly, who gives a fuck? If you have to tell people you are awesome, you probably aren't. As an observer, I find it depressing because it's so easy to see the insecurity and desperation for approval oozing out of those 140 characters.

I tell myself this blog is a photo journal for me, but i don't go back and read the posts or look at the pictures. You probably don't either. I really don't know why I keep doing it. If the internet stopped existing today, I wouldn't give a damn. I wouldn't feel like my voice was taken away...I'd feel like the incessant chatter had finally stopped. And if this blog is all about pictures, then what now that the pictures are starting to repeat? Feels like I've done the same post a million times. Garden, beach, sky, festivals, food. Repeat. I feel like this practice will only make me dumber.

I've been reading Marshall McLuhan lately and it's fascinating that he was saying pretty much the same thing in the 1960s. My favorite excerpt from his book, "The Medium is the Massage -- An Inventory of Effects" is this:

The poet, the artist, the sleuth -- whoever sharpens our perception tends to be antisocial; rarely "well-adjusted," he cannot go along with currents and trends. A strange bond often exists among antisocial types in their power to see environments as they really are. This need to interface, to confront environments with a certain antisocial power, is manifest in the famous story, "The Emperor's New Clothes." "Well-adjusted" courtiers, having vested interests, saw the Emperor as beautifully appointed. The "antisocial" brat, unaccustomed to the old environment, clearly saw that the Emperor "ain't got nothin' on." The new environment was clearly visible to him.
I feel like the social media freaks are running around naked and ignorant -- trying to convince the rest of cyberspace how beautiful and uber-intelligient they are. Anyone can use Google -- that's not intelligience, it's simply regurgitating a message that was beamed into your head that you managed to hold onto for a minute before barfing it out on the cyber community. And beauty -- if you can't see it in yourself -- that's a shame. Beauty takes many shapes and rarely sticks to a template.

As a Communication specialist, I'm nonplussed by the whole lot of it. And yes, I'm the antisocial brat that wants to point out the illusion. However, I don't even want to spend my time pointing it out. People see what they want to see and I'm not gonna try to change your mind...just don't try to change mine.

"The major advances in civilization are processes that all but wreck the societies in which they occur."
~ A.N. Whitehead

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy Summer -- Wear Sunscreen!

Happy first day of Summer! It's supposed to be a beautiful day here - sunny and high around 81.

Heard this song on the radio this morning and it was a total blast from the past. This advice means much different things to me than it did in 1998 when the song came out.

Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)



Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be
it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by
scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering
experience…I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not
understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you
imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm
on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you

Sing

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with
people who are reckless with yours.

Floss

Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes
you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with
yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you
succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe
you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky
chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t
congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your
choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body,
use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people
think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own..

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for
good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the
people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you
should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and
lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you
knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live
in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will
philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize
that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were
noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund,
maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will
look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the
ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…

Monday, June 18, 2012

Meet Crash

(Our first meeting)

We are so happy to announce that we have a new furry dog friend in our family! His name is Crash. We adopted him Saturday from the Oregon Humane Society. We saw his scruffy little picture online Friday and picked him up the next day. He was the first dog on the first page of the first search I did for Poohs. It was destiny!

He's a 1.5 to 2 yr old Westie mutt! His face looks just like Clancy's but he is only about 13 pounds. Adding a little extra tug on the heart strings, he has a deformed front left paw -- it doesn't hurt him -- he was just born with a few less bones. He doesn't let it slow him down though! He runs better than he walks. He jumps and plays fetch and sometimes "crashes over" on his left side when he's playing too hard (hence the name Crash). It is the cutest dang thing ever! He has a funny little tripod-front-leg-pogo-stick-thing going on.

You won't believe how well he and Derville are getting along. We introduced them in stages Saturday and they were fast friends within hours. They play together like puppies -- racing and chasing all over the house. I've missed that so much. It's pretty amazing how smoothly this has all been. We were even able to sleep with doors open and no kennels on the first night.

We suspect Derville thinks Crash is a little incarnate of Clancy. We kind of think so too.The first time we let them actually meet, Derville ran straight up to Crash and did a little nose-bump face-smash. It was like Derville rushed up and put his hands on Crash's shoulders and hugged him and said, "Brother! Where have you been? You're different but nevermind that -- I've missed you. Let's play!"

The craziest part of this little guy's story -- he was transferred up from a shelter in L.A. last week! Another LA transplant in our family, crazy! He was brought in as a stray, so he has no background -- if only he could talk, imagine the stories! They had named him Niles, but we just didn't like that so we changed it to Miles since it sounded pretty close...but this guy wouldn't respond to either of them so we started trying out names. We got a decent response to Cecil and we called him that for a few hours...didn't really fit him though. He's an old soul but not an old man. Then we tried on Lefty for awhile...but we sorta felt like irony makes for strange bedfellows so we kept trying. At that moment he wiped out in the yard running with a giant (for him) ball rope. He didn't miss a beat and kept on going. We cried out, "Crash!" and he responded like, "hell yeah that's my name!" And so it is.

He's got a total mutt cut but he's got shots, microchip, free vet visit...he fits right in to our little group of misfits.

Let the new era of Crash and Derville begin!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Man In the Glass




The Man In The Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

~ Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr. (1934)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Garden Update June 13, 2012

Holey Moley! The garden is growing so fast -- I can't believe how much it's changed since the last update!

We've added a few things -- here's the organic rainbow Swiss chard where the tires used to be.


Raised bed: tomatoes, snow peas (gold and green), greens, cauliflower, broccoli, watermelon


Cauliflower! (Turns out one of the supposed broccoli plants grew up to be a cauliflower plant - oh, the surprises of nature!)

The broccoli is doing extremely well! I've never seen broccoli (or cauliflower) in "the wild" before -- it's a very interesting plant. I can't believe it's almost as tall as me -- who'da thunk?


Look at all the little broccolini-type things growing out of the pits of the branches! Crazy!

I think this guy below is ready for harvest -- looks like he might start bolting if we don't get it soon! I've read that once you cut the main crown that the other little ones will take off -- we'll see. Turns out we have FOUR broccoli plants and one cauliflower plant -- and boy does it smell like farts near these guys! Pungent!


Here's the dub-dig - cukes, onions, carrots, beets, red radishes doing excellent!


Here's JB snackin down on radishes (too bad I don't like radishes -- the big guy sure has his work cut out for him!) 


Look at these little beauties! Not much you can do to mess up a radish! (Mom, I think Jason's gonna need back up with these!)


We also added a quinoa (keen-wa) border at the edge of the fence. We used an organic rainbow variety and I'm really excited to see these guys grow. We love quinoa and can't wait to have it fresh from the garden.


The cucumbers are making a show too -- pass the pickles please!


The Beet Box- this is also a new addition. We used an organic rainbow mix here, as well. These are doing much better than the ones in the double dig area. I'm pretty sure it's due to seed preparation. This package had instructions to soak the seeds in water for 8-12 hours before sowing. I didn't do that with the others -- never even heard of it before but now I'll remember that trick for the rest of my gardening days!


This is the view from our bedroom window. The blackberries are blooming like crazy and starting to put on fruit. We love watching the bees do their thing through the window. Bees are amazing little creatures.

I love waking up and looking out the window at our bountiful garden and lush green backyard. Makes up for all those gray rainy winter mornings.


Last, but not least, the Hood Berries (strawberries) are in full effect! I love it when I can eat as many as my heart desires and there is still a ton left over. We were lucky enough to inherit a food dehydrator and it looks like these berries might be our first experiment!


Here's hoping your garden is green, your skies are blue and your veggies are plentiful!


Friday, June 08, 2012

Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse

Since the release of Norah Jones' awesome new album Broken Little Hearts, produced by Danger Mouse, we have been tearing through all the Danger Mouse albums at the library. He has touched so many albums and collaborated with a ton of artists. This guy is quite prolific. As Jason says, he's made himself the subtext throughout all of the projects and across genres and with different artists. The collaboration effort that Brian Burton (a.k.a. Danger Mouse) puts out is a breath of fresh air.

This song "Little Girl" from the Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse album Dark Night of the Soul is incredibly catchy. I was groovin right along the first time I heard it and then woke up singing it this morning. It's like funky Burt Bacharach on a cruise, wearing boat shoes, drinking electric cocktails.

 Happy Friday!!

A trick that people use to make you think they are smart
Is confidence when actually they're lost in the dark
Only someone with the mind of a child says he'll grow up
The seven and the avalanche you're life will show up
Its nice to be loved it can never happen too late
I wanna share my food but you have stolen my plate
Hey now, hey now go your way now

You tortured little girl
Showing them what love is all about
Where did all the time go?
Everywhere it's gone, gone, gone

You get the point now
You pick yourself up off the bars
He's on his arm now
Cause they remind you of the pictures on the wall now
But you was young and I wasn't not even born yet
If you think I know a little more bit
Than the average person on the streets you are incorrect
Because I'm ignorant as shit, not here to preach, man
You know I just wanna have fun, go to the beach, man
That's all I am, I'm just a simple guy who talks when
You put a microphone in front of him

You twisted little girl
Showing them what life is all about
Where did all the time go?
Everywhere it's gone

Running left in a relationship
Going in circles and I just can't wait
Running left so we can get in shape
Get in shape because we can't escape

Running left because I'm running late
Ending up in the exact same place
Running laps in your relationship
Running away from the shadows of

The worlds always amazed at how much cash you made
But not at how you made it, it's just strange
It sounded kind of cool over the phone
It killed your neighbors and their dog and crushed their bones

You tortured little girl
Showing them what laughter's all about
Where did all the wine go?
Every night it's gone

You got it all worked out
Funny little girl
Showing them what pain is all about
Where did all the time go?
Every night it's gone, gone, gone

You're the coolest girl in this whole town
I just wanna parade you around

Friday, June 01, 2012

How are YOU doing?

Happy Friday from Derville! 

He's such a concerned little kitty. 


During our conversation this morning, he intimated, "I miss Grammie and Papa. How are they doing? When will they come to see us again?" 
 
We love you Grammie and Papa -- hope to see you soon!