Friday, November 13, 2009


I wish the rain would stop,
she said.
Isn’t that from a movie?
he quipped.
I’m not sure but I wish it would.

They’d been here before
and would probably go there

They both knew it is too
cold now, too cold for them.

A wind swells and circles.
He has no heat to steal,
but she hugs him anyhow.
It’s too cold too hold on long.

They’d be back,
when the weather was right.
For tonight the metronome drive home
lulls them back to each other.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Not Quite a Church, Maybe a BathHouse.

Suckin' too hard on ya lollipop,
Oh love's gonna get ya down.

Mika is a true guilty pleasure. He's painfully happy and bouncy but infectious. Even his serious more somber songs don't annoy or seem trite. Sadly he only makes it to NY once a year. This year it is on October 16th and I will be there. If you can get yourself a ticket, he is the best performer I have ever seen, and that is saying a lot.

This is one of my favorite Mika songs. He just released a new album and I was sure this would be one it,(mostly because in concert he announced it would be.) However, it isn't. It makes me sad and annoyed, so this live version will have to do.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dum Vita Est Spes Est

The universe takes care of me.

I stumbled on this poem a few years ago, and have been trying to remember it all day. I finally found the text, so here it is.


Tonight I Can Write

I can write the saddest lines tonight.

Write for example: ‘The night is fractured
and they shiver, blue, those stars, in the distance’

The night wind turns in the sky and sings.
I can write the saddest lines tonight.
I loved her, sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like these I held her in my arms.
I kissed her greatly under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could I not have loved her huge, still eyes.

I can write the saddest lines tonight.
To think I don’t have her, to feel I have lost her.

Hear the vast night, vaster without her.
Lines fall on the soul like dew on the grass.

What does it matter that I couldn’t keep her.
The night is fractured and she is not with me.

That is all. Someone sings far off. Far off,
my soul is not content to have lost her.

As though to reach her, my sight looks for her.
My heart looks for her: she is not with me

The same night whitens, in the same branches.
We, from that time, we are not the same.

I don’t love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the breeze to reach her.

Another’s kisses
on her, like my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body, infinite eyes.

I don’t love her, that’s certain, but perhaps I love her.
Love is brief: forgetting lasts so long.

Since, on these nights, I held her in my arms,
my soul is not content to have lost her.

Though this is the last pain she will make me suffer,
and these are the last lines I will write for her.

Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Nothing endures but change.

Things do not change; we change.
Henry David Thoreau

Heraclitus would have us all in the flames, and Thoreau would have changed his mind already, but would claim that was the point.

Either way, they're both right. As far as I'm concerned the world is our own perceptions. The way we interact with our lives dictates the path, and finally the outcome. Even if a piano drops on your head, you made some choice to put you under it.

I'm no good at change. It scares me. But, it is when I am making changes that I am the happiest. I think it may be time for something to give. What, I don't know, but something.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The church of, M. Ward.

I'm going to start something new, with the working title, "the church of."

This is featured in today's.

In the Apollo concert, he sort of yelled, "Then why is the night so long?" I've been looking for a live version like that, but more looking is necessary.


What is the difference between people who decide to do something and do it, and those who try and try, but never seem to finish.

Hell if I know. If I did I would be way more effective as a human being. However, the desire to be the former type of person is forcing me to try new things to reach some sort of productive end.

These are the things are far as I can figure, that are needed:
One, the desire to do whatever it is you’re aiming for. If you asked a six your old to finish their bowl of ice cream, odds are there would be no fight. Ask the same six year old to finish painting a fence; you end up with a Huck Finn situation. When you get older though, you see reasons to paint the proverbial fence. The reasons aren’t always as nice as pure enjoyment, but they’re often enough to get the job done.
Two, remembering the reasons you are doing something. It is easy to remember in the objective way, but the emotional drive is sometimes hard to hold onto. Maybe a certain amount of obsessiveness is useful. Easygoing people are rarely rallying ceaselessly for causes. Reminding yourself of your reasons will make your stomach sit up and take notice, but that’s ok, as long as you get something done. That is just the first stage of the game. When you make a habit of doing the things you have decided to do it gets easier, and your nerves relax and it becomes business as usual.
Three is strength of will. Once you have a reason to do something and remember what it is, you have to just do it. Nike aside, there are always reasons not to. It’s hard and it sucks, but doing what you tell yourself you will do is an amazing thing. When someone else reneges on something, you don’t trust them anymore, and there is a loss of regard. It goes for yourself as well. As Plato says, “The first and best victory is to conquer self; to be conquered by self is of all things most shameful and vile.”
That brings us neatly to four. Make being productive into a habit. If you are used to coming home and watching hours of television while eating fried chicken wrapped in bacon, you will want to go home go home and want to watch hours of tv while eating fried chicken wrapped in bacon. As the good book says, “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” The way you are may not be, and often isn’t, the way you are the happiest. Change is hard, but usually worth it. Making anything that takes effort a habit is hard. It’s usually harder mentally than anything else. It is much easier to break habits then make them, so three (mental diligence) never really goes away, but it must get easier.

“Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be.”
Kurt Vonnegut

Saturday, May 30, 2009


As anyone who knows me will tell you, I have a problem with distractions. Once I get going, I’m fine and dandy, but getting there is an issue. There is also a fairly serious issue with me waiting until the last minute that only compounds my problem with distractions. I know that to most people this is a flaw, but some of my prouder moments are pulling some amazing and herculean things off in the time it takes to cook decent chili.

Everyone in academia has to deal with some hugely important exams. From the SATs to the GMATs there is a huge amount of studying to be done. I found 2 new programs. I have a mac, so PC users, better luck next time. One is called Freedom; it will block your internet for however long you tell it too. Having a shameful addiction to celebrity gossip I know I spend a disturbing amount of time flipping between my gossip rags of choice. The other program, which I am joyfully using right now, is write room. It is just a screen and a cursor. I don’t think I have paid for a piece of software since someone else was footing my bills, but I’m seriously thinking about shelling out the 25$ for this when my 30 days are over.

I have my cumulative exams coming in 2 months. They will test just about everything I have supposedly learned in graduate school. That means I have 2 months to relearn, and in many cases learn everything that has passed in front of me for the past two years. I’m feeling pretty good about things today.
I’ve almost started.

Does anyone have some ass to the chair tips that have worked for them?

Oh, and I bought a bike.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Itchy Feet

To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.
Freya Stark
There is nothing as wonderful as an adventure. When you're stationary, everything becomes background. At a certain point, you don't see anything at all. In a new place, the mundane is mesmerizing, and the bland is beautiful. The best part is, when you get home, for a moment, your eyes reopen.

It is time for a new trip, but it will have to wait for a while.

What is your favorite travel story? Who is the most interesting person you've ever met, or made the deepest mark? Or, what was just memorable?

In Tennessee, there is an old church that has been converted into a B&B. The woman who owns and runs it was the first woman to graduate from the Memphis police academy back in the 70's. One day, her and her partner were driving, and over the police radio they were told to go to a pay phone and call the station. This was really strange, because normally everything was just over the radio. So they pulled over and they called the station, and were told to go to the hospital, because there was a high profile patient on their way who had to be quietly brought in through the back. She and her partner, were confused and curious and went to the hospital to meet the ambulance. It came into the hospital without the sirens, and they carried out a stretcher and she and her partner very quietly escorted them in. Once they were inside they mostly just watched doors and people come and go. Some time later, she had to enter the room and saw a good looking larger man on the stretcher, who she recognized. He was blue, and clearly dead, and she looked at his toe tag. It was Elvis Presley, she thought, she always had wanted to meet him, but not like that. The point is, she is sure, and she'll tell you with a smile, the King is dead.
Long live the king.

(Oh, and on a personal note, that particular B&B had the most comfortable bed I have ever had the pleasure of sleeping in. )

David Bowe on Kafka

Happy Wednesday.

Altogether, I think we ought to read only books that bite and sting us. If the book we are reading doesn't shake us awake like a blow to the skull, why bother reading it in the first place? So that it can make us happy, as you put it? Good God, we'd be just as happy if we had no books at all; books that make us happy we could, in a pinch, also write ourselves. What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make use feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is what I believe.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More or Less the Same

This version of "The Boxer" is beautiful and simple, and has a character of earned wisdom.

There is a verse that isn't in this version of the song. The verse contains some of my favorite lyrics I've ever heard.

"Now the years are rolling by me, they are rockin even me
I am older than I once was, and younger than Ill be, thats not unusual
No it isnt strange, after changes upon changes, we are more or less the same
After changes we are more or less the same"

In a melancholy mood, Paul Simon has always been able to reverberate in a beautiful way. It's like tea and the Times on a rainy Sunday.

If you feel inclined, what are your grey day joys?

Friday, April 10, 2009

R. Mutt

When Marcel Duchamp was asked by his brother to change the title of "Nu descendant un escalier n° 2" in order for it to be displayed, he put the canvas under his arm, and took a taxi home. When I studied art, I initially thought this was Picasso, a testament to its quality.

Although he was talented as a painter, and his siblings were classical artists, he didn't paint for much of his career.

It is rare for someone to be irreverent and not an ass. He has whimsy but not idiocy. Although he was a dadaist he was never overly involved in the political movement.

I respect anyone who can get away with making this art, just by declaring it so.The Emperor is perfectly attired in a nudist colony. The ready-mades are poignant commentary without a soapbox.

If you are interested, here is a translated radio interview with Duchamp.

This is a late edition to the post, but it was all I could think of while writing this.

PhD in Dance

Go see Monsters V Aliens.

"By Hawking's Chair!"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

To New Things!

Soon, very soon I am moving to a new home of my own. The child above is new. Many things will be new, so this is one more. Although I am convinced I have nothing at all to say, I have been told otherwise. So as the blog name suggests, keep your standards low. I am prepared to prove them all wrong.

Here is a hill Zorro, a personal hero, should be riding over. He's coming, wait for it.