I'll go with thee to the lane's end... I am a kind of burr, I shall stick. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

I write not to teach but to learn. Rebecca West

drew's writing:

  • "Always Forever Now," Ideomancer volume 13, issue 2
  • "Black Sun," Black Static # 32
  • "Bread or Cake" and "Pride/Shame,"2nd Annual Philadelphia One-Minute Play Festival
  • "Copper Heart," Polluto Magazine issue 5, A Steampunk Orange
  • "The Accomplished Birder's Guide to Overcoming Rejection," Last Drink Bird Head, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
  • "Another Night With the Henriksens," Player's Theater Halloween One-Act Festival NYC 2008
  • "Hating the Lovers," and "Pipe Down!" Geez Magazine: Thirty Sermons You Would Never Hear in Church
  • "Beth/slash/Nathan," Paper Fruit Blogiversary Contest

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

giant justin with tiny keyan and shweta











































We have been having a lot of fun at the Center for Magical Realism at UCSD. This giant writer is a nice guy, and has been great about not kicking down buildings. Sometimes he picks up cute guys and we have to yell at him to put them back where he found them.
He has a star stuck to his elbow and cubist butterfly wings on his butt.

The pixies are good writers too. One of them can hover! They keep turning stories in to the workshop in really small point sizes.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Pat Tillman, new information

Yesterday the AP recieved official documents which state that the doctors performing the autopsy on Pat Tillman suspected that he was shot from within ten yards away. The documents also show that no evidence was found at the scene of Tillman's death to support the "friendly fire" explanation.

Tillman was a professional football player who gave up his career to fight in Afghanistan
. He died in 2004, one month after the Abu Ghraib scandal broke. The military covered up the circumstances around Tillman's death until weeks after his memorial service. His Silver Star citation was a fiction that stated that he had died in a battle against enemy forces. The Army knew at the time that this battle had never taken place.

Tillman is one of the more fascinating characters of the War on Terror era. By the time of his death, Tillman had become disillusioned and highly critical of the war in Iraq. He urged a fellow soldier to vote for Kerry and described the Iraq War as illegal.
He had gotten in touch with Noam Chomsky and made plans to visit him. Here's an article by Pat Tillman's brother Kevin that is really worth reading.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

shaman optometrist fights age, recalls scouting days, communes with stones

Today I got new glasses. My optometrist resembled William H. Macy in Fargo. His age was undefinable. Older, but energetic, and pleasantly brisk in that generic, Midwestern way. His hair had tight waves like it had been marceled, but I think the waves were natural. What wasn't natural was his comb-over. His low part was the tip-off. But his red-gold, marceled hair was so dense, it almost concealed the scalp underneath.

I sat in the chair in the
optometrist's office envisioning how the man had fought his feelings of sorrow over the loss of youth with a brave tonsorial stratagem. I empathized. We don't all grow old gracefully. Like Dylan Thomas, I believe in raging against the dying of the light.

I mentioned I was walking back to campus, and we talked about hiking.
The optometrist enjoyed hiking around California, and had vacationed in Hawaii with his sister, whom he referred to as Sis. We discovered that we both had been Boy Scouts. Like mine, his troop (in L.A.) had gone camping once a month. In his troop-- whose number he quoted-- the scouts planned all the year's events themselves. In my troop we were all misfits and burnouts. I was troop secretary, which brought me a surprising amount of prestige.

The optometrist told me he made Eagle at 13, which is pretty amazing. More amazing was his ability to rattle off the names of all the badges he had earned. The only badges I remember are Orienteering and Reptiles. I was not ambitious; I just liked the camping and camaraderie. I thought the whole rank system was manipulative and absurd. The optometrist named a bunch of knots he could tie, some behind his back. I could tie a square knot.

The
optometrist had had two uncanny experiences while hiking. Both involved rocks, which to me suggests that he is a natural animist, like the character Nakata in Kafka on the Shore. I believe this man, in a different time and place, could be a Shinto priest.

The first uncanny experience involved him putting his hand on a boulder in the wilderness and hearing classical music. He said it sounded like a crystal set, which is an old-time term for a radio. My grandmother used it when talking about her childhood. Her father worked at RCA. The
optometrist said he knew what station the boulder was playing by the symphony that was on. He even quoted the call letters of the station to me. That he thought he could identify a specific station by the symphony that was playing is more bizarre to me than a boulder that plays classical music in the middle of a forest.

In the second experience the
optometrist rested on a rock, put his hands on it, and received a powerful electric charge.

I am sure this man is a natural shaman.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Caravaggio painting; Goethe quote





















"The Philistine not only ignores all conditions of life which are not his own but also demands that the rest of mankind should fashion its mode of existence after his own"

Goethe

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ultimate Question, Nietzsche Family Circus, disturbing tree


























Why is there something instead of nothing? For me that's the ultimate question. Even if you posit a God, it is irksome to be asked to imagine a God that has no origin.


The author of the Pooh stories wrote a poem about a girl named Elizabeth Anne, who runs around asking people how God began. Then her doll tells her. I still find this poem unsettling.

But, like Elizabeth Anne, and, I guess Newton, I accept the idea that something has to get things rolling. Aquinas' idea of the uncaused cause seems like cheating to me now, though I once accepted it.

For more deep thoughts, I recommend the Nietzsche Family Circus, which pairs a randomized Family Circus cartoon with a randomized Friedrich Nietzsche quote.
Also, read Caleb's funny account of our encounter with a disturbing tree on the UCSD campus.

San Diego Mormon Temple



San Diego Mormon Temple, originally uploaded by bridgepix.
This building is down the road from us at UCSD and looks like the Childlike Empress' palace in Neverending Story. This post is my experiment with blogging photos from Flickr.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Tintin, and Moorcock's open source character

Check out this this fantastic article from the London Times about Tintin.



















Then read about this open source character created by Michael Moorcock, who partly inspired the most wonderful and fascinating comic book series I've never heard of, according to all the raves in this article.

Rossetti's Mnemosene and my favorite Yeats poem.




Lines Written in DejectionWilliam Butler Yeats

When have I last looked on
The round green eyes and the long wavering bodies
Of the dark leopards of the moon?
All the wild witches, those most noble ladies,
For all their broom-sticks and their tears,
Their angry tears, are gone.
The holy centaurs of the hills are vanished;
I have nothing but the embittered sun;
Banished heroic mother moon and vanished,
And now that I have come to fifty years,
I must endure the timid sun.



 



I saw this painting when I was a child. It was like someone had given me LSD. I became a Pre-Raphaelite that day.

The Delaware Art Museum contains the largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the United States. I was lucky to grow up down the road from it. I still make pilgrimages to see these paintings when I need inspiration.

It was a weird and wonderful synergy that as I came west to study at Clarion, the Delaware Art Museum's Pre-Raphaelite collection also came west. Matt and I went to see them last Saturday at Balboa Park. He patiently listened to me lecture on the paintings, their meanings, the artists, and their lives and ideas. The Pre-Raphs believed that everyone could become an artist, and support themselves by creating beautiful things. Pre-Raphealite models, like Elizabeth Siddal and Maria Spartali, became accomplished artists themselves, in a time when few women attempted to become artists (Georgina Burne-Jones has some poignant words about this). The Pre-Raphs also win my affection through their belief in a classless society, and free love. They put nature and narrative at the center of their art. (For me, all art is narrative).


The woman in the painting is Jane Burden, later Jane Morris. She inspired some of Rossetti's greatest paintings. She was multilingual, a socialist, a weaver, and a supporter of Irish home rule. Here Rossetti has painted her as Mnemosene, goddess of memory.
The first time I saw this, I can remember feeling dominated and intoxicated by this image. The Pre-Raphaelites have always had their detractors, but you can tell, I have an almost completely uncritical view of them.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Jim Boggia cover of "Somebody to Love"






You can download this gorgeous cover of Queen's "Somebody to Love" for free. Or, just listen to it. The artist is Jim Boggia, a local Philly musician. He recorded it to honor WXPN DJ Helen Leicht's thirtieth year on the radio. Boggia's cover combines celestial back-up harmonies with an earthy lead voice. It has an urgent, yearning quality.

 I also like George Michael's version at the Freddy Mercury tribute concert.









Above is a detail from a Yoruban chief's door. The artist is Arowogun d'Osi-Ilorin, a wood carver who made masks, doors, and house posts all around Osi, in Southwest Nigeria. His name means "He who makes his living by the knife."
The door is at the Nasher Museum of Art in North Carolina.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

niki de saint phalle dragon and my birthday




We visited Balboa Park in San Diego and saw this dragon by Niki de Saint Phalle. This is at least the third sculpture by her I've seen in San Diego so far.






















































Some of you know I have been spending the summer at the Center for Magical Realism at UCSD.

The CMR folks made me a birthday dinosaur.
























My birthday was the day after our instructor's!
He is a Disney fan. I helped with this RoboMickey.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Beck - Nobody's Fault But My Own


Beck really puts his heart into this one. Lovely. Possibly my favorite Beck song.

Monday, July 16, 2007

UC Men's Octet - Bohemian Rhapsody

Is this the real life? This version of Freddy Mercury's magnum opus starts out a little silly, but becomes, for me at least, fairly mesmerizing.

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