Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ashes and Snow

"In exploring the shared language and poetic sensibilities of all animals, I am working towards rediscovering the common ground that once existed when people lived in harmony with animals. The images depict a world that is without beginning or end, here or there, past or present."
-- Gregory Colbert, creator of Ashes and Snow

Ashes and Snow is magnificent creation of Gregory Colbert. I first stumbled upon this site just expecting to poke around an art exhibit. To my surprise I not only found one of the singularly best designed web sites, but a truly multimedia experience. From films to snippets of book, sounds and pictures led me on an intoxicatingly heartfelt journey. I look forward to visiting this exhibit before it leaves the US. I unfortunately missed it when it came to NYC.

I've intentionally have not included pictures here because I feel it would be pornographic when isolated from the rest of the site. I strongly recommend viewing this site in Flash. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Site Notes: On a completely different topic, I've been adding the archives relatively diligently. I noticed it's been a week or so since I've added any new content. But there's a post in the makings. By the end of the week, I hope to have the rest of the site archives up as well as some of the finishing touches on the sites. Peace!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away

Yesterday, and to be fair, this entire weekend was jammed packed with events. Sunday started off with getting up at sometime soon after noon. It was a glorious day! I hadn't gotten up after noon in far too long.

I like to spell Sunday F-O-O-T-B-A-L-L. Steelers vs. Broncos. Blue collar vs. yuppy. Coal Slumps vs. Rockie Mountains. A battle for the ages. Howie Cossell would have been ecstatic.

The Steelers had an outstanding display of football acumen, both on defense and on offense. But watching it with two Steelers fans you'd get the feeling that it wasn't good enough. That maybe, just maybe, it might slip right out of their hands. Because its seem to all the time. With the thrashing nearly complete I had to go watch my Taiwanese Modern Dance. Needless to say my two football friends (one an architect and one a photographer) questioned my manhood. Here's a brief synoposis provided by Clerks: The Animated Series! You can purchase this on Amazon. (God I feel like such a DVD peddling whore).

Randall: Is this a gay thing?
Leonardo Leonardo: No.
Randall: Are you sure?
Leonardo Leonardo: Yeeeeeeeeeeeeessss.
Randall: *elbows Dante*

I, of course, was running on Indian Standard Time (for all those who don't know. I don't want to over-generalize or anything, but all Indians are late to everything all the time) and a belly full of beer and pizza.

Arriving late and sneaking into pre-performance lecture, I'm confronted with a little introduction in what I've gotten myself involved. To say the least, there was going to be baby oil involved. Yes. Baby oil. A group of people lathered in baby oil. The sentiments of my friends echoed through my head.

Randall: Is this a gay thing?
Leonardo Leonardo: No.
Randall: Are you sure?
Leonardo Leonardo: Yeeeeeeeeeeeeessss.
Randall: *elbows Dante*

In all honesty, this is a wonderful idea. The baby oil was to represent the fluidity of movement experienced in water. The show was called 70% Water, which happens to be the percentage of water that inhabits both the earth and humans. And I didn't even realize how wonderful this was until I watched the show.

There were four different performances, leaving the homoerotic baby oil affair for last. One of my favorites was a choreographer detailing different events in her life. She weaved us through her life before dance, friends who didn't accomplish anything, her life with dance and her intoxication with form and formlessness, flirtations with lesbianism and life after dance. Lovely performance all around.

70% Water was prefaced with a 15 minute break when they prep the stage with plastic and baby oil. The dancers skidded across stage fully drenching themselves in baby oil. FUN!!! And no, it's not a gay thing. God! Where would you get an idea like that.

One of the best things about the baby oil, was the smell. It was so strong and yet so delicate. It just open my mind up to listening to what they had to share.

The group of six, two men and four women slide across the stage with amazing grace and strength. Each decisive movement was accompanied by a monosyllabic sound. I love monosyllabic sounds because they so easily resonate inside my body. It's kind of fun to feel a sound like this. OOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM... It started off very playfully at first as if like children. There's what seemed to be a fight between the men. Then there was a coupling of threes: one group of all women, the other group of two men and one women. Very sexual if you ask me. But the highlight, in my opinion was the finish. All six are lying on their sides hands grabbing the legs of another in a circle rhythmically changing "La, La, La". You make of it as you wish. I found it amazing.

At the end of the show I had a beautiful smile painted on my face. To chant and dance in unison with others is my dearest dream. I hope we get to do this.

"Remember... We are Eternal all this pain is an Illusion."

Friday, January 20, 2006

A desk to enlightenment and beyond

Two nights ago I had an intense discussion in which we concluded that the economic system in which we live, be it communist or capitalist, is inherently irrelevant. What supercedes those is human dignity. But then what the fuck do I know, I was really drunk.

You ever get roped into conversations you don't really want to? Him and his girlfriend offered me some Chinese food. I first declined, but my insatiable appetite for Mu Shu and duck quickly changed my mind. I swear the conversation went like this:
Patriot: "Hey, this duck is great! Thanks man."
Red Commie Bastard: "I'm glad you like it. I think the Mu Shu was pretty good too, but don't you think our capitalistic tendancies and knee jerk reactions to market based economies have led us to yet another useless war?"
Patriot: "Yeah the Mu Shu is ... WHAAAA?!?!?!"

Certainly there's some inconsistencies in the above scene, like the Patriot eating Chinese food. But then again, he's being fed by a Commie Bastard. All mundane details aside, the conversation flowered into something interesting.
How many times have you had the Capitalist vs. Communist debate? And how many times has it boiled down to the following
  • Our capitalistic system isn't a true capitalistic system as in Laissez-faire
  • There has never been a truly communist system implement as Marx foresaw it. Meaning the proletariats are the focus. All systems claiming to be communist have really been socialist.
  • Mekrob isn't really any good. In fact God hates it so much he made it a curse word.
  • Comparing Democracy to Communism is like comparing apples to oranges. One dictates a political system, the other is a economic system.
  • When Buddha laughs, he's laughing at you.
  • Neither matter as long as human dignity/agency is allowed and the depth of human identity is allow to flourish

I moderately enjoyed the debate. I guess the biggest problem is, I didn't learn anything. I didn't see anything new. So it was fun to run the gambit, but I need more.

This condition of thinking through a problem looks stark past a simple issue of "What do I feel at this moment?" Thinking through a problem is amazing! It deepens your awareness of the world far more than you can imagine. But it doesn't contribute to your disposition. The awareness of that life is vast and so am I is something that few people ever reach. Then to go ahead and play with that intersection in a joyful manner is exquistely rare! And so we have figures like the laughing Buddha to remind us that "It doesn't matter in the end!" Well, not until you tie yourself up in it. Bound by the world is one thing that most everyone does.. Trying to break the binds is what tortured souls do. One broken from the binds, they become Buddhas and laugh. Then they can pluck on the strings that bind the rest of us till we are forced to break free all the while laughing at the fact that... well... I don't know... it's just funny. It really is.

So I have this wonderful little laughing Buddha on my desk. It's been taunting me. And I've been laughing with it. I swear everytime I look at it, I want to laugh. There's a tradition in Taoist Yoga where you practice laughing. Actually, it's not just Taoist. I've seen Indians gather together just to have a laugh. They practice laughing for an hour or so. But the Taoist take that feeling laughter and trie to just silence and capture it in their gut, which is the source of laughter. Think about how nothing else matters when you're laughing. Now imagine you had that feeling all your life. "Well, that's just not how the world works and that's just kind of the stuff that ummm... yeah!" Try thinking hard when your laughing. You can't! It's amazing.

People were laughing before they starting talking. It was probably one of the first sounds that escaped us and meant something to us.

Any case, laugh so more. I'm not going to say give up on thinking. It's fun. But laughing will always, in my mind, supercede thinking. Imagine dying with a deep hearty laugh? How cool would that be!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Fairer Blogs

I read over 200 blogs. Scratch that. I'm subscribed to over 200 blogs. Of which I read about 2.

I read only a handful of blogs on a daily basis. And I am quite suprised that so many are written by women. No, I'm not saying women are stupid (goddamn I can hear the bickering from here!) but there's an undeniable fact that most computer related activities, espeicially early adopters, are men. That and women are dumb.

Here's a few blogs I really adore. (Seriously, don't get your panties in a twist.) They range from cooking to yoga to blogging and more. I really admire the content and style of each author. Some are young, some are married, some are crazy. All of them are intense, passionate and insightful. So begins the list!

Chez Christine
Monami. So you want to be a cook? No! You will be a chef!
Christine is documenting her initiation into the world of precision cooking while she is under the tutelage of the ever watchful gatekeepers at Le Cordon Bleu. Plus she had this picture on her site.

BL Ochman on Blogging
That's it. She's all about taking the bullshit the average company passes as marketing and throwing in their face. She's fiesty, she a vetran and she's awesome.

I really don't know her name. I could find it anywhere! But I couldn't not include her. (Does that actually count as a sentence?) As you may well know, I've recently moved to Brooklyn and now have my own little apartment which requires a little splash of paint and a touch of flair (I swear I'm not gay... Sometimes I wonder). Now I was going to leave her off my list because she doesn't have a name, but she likes Mates of State, so it's ok.

Kathy Sierra
Oh my God! This woman is like Liono. She has sight beyond sight. Her analysis is perceptive and usually on target ('Sideways' wasn't about knowing wine... not at its core IMO). That's not even half the story. She creates images for her blog that compliment her post in such an elegant manner that I can't even imagine being this good. I hope my osmotic abilities get pumped up an order of magnitude so I can hang in her league.

Kimberly Wilson
Where would I be without yoga? HipTranquilChick is a clothing line started by Kimberly out of DC. She has simple but attractive attire for the average yogini. So why in the hell am I reading her blog? Because, it's not just a blog. It's a podcast and I'm a podhead. But also because it's just darn insightful. She doesn't just talk about clothing or yoga, but an interesting mix focused on being a centered person in our crazy world. Besides, her voice is really cute.

Sally Hogshead
This girl's intense. Maybe she's not a girl. But she's definitely intense. Like a heavy metal guitar riff. Pithy, insightful, no holds barred mantras for success in the corporate labrynth. You will succeed or you will die! (maybe I made that one up... or not!)

Isabel Clark
I only found her today so I still checking her out. I don't think that sounded the way I wanted it to sound. Any case, she's a DC woman who focuses on health conscious meals. Check her out.

Marie Forleo
Sassy, motivated and cute? Huh? I don't think I had a choice but to read her. She's a lovely, self assured woman of the world. And now she's a Nike Fitness Dance model. How cool is that? Did I mention cute?

To be fair, I've compiled a list of women I think suck. Wanna hear it? Well here it is:
  • Paris Hilton -- Graceless.
  • Smurfette -- tease. Need I say more?
  • Maureen Dowd -- Insular and backwards.
  • Alf -- for so many years I thought he was a woman. Turns out he's really asexual.
  • Mother Teresa -- Seriously, if you don't see it, I just can explain it to you. (I met someone who really believed this. He was silly.Too much Ayn Rand.)
  • Kali -- That bitch is going to take us all down.
  • Desperate Housewives -- they just suck

Well, that's it for me. I guess it's only fair that I leave you with my real opinion of women and intelligence. Far too long people have bickered back and forth about whose more intelligent and some taking far too much pride in intelligence. What better way to say it when someone else has already said it for me.

"Thoughts have no sex." -Clare Boothe Luce

Thursday, January 05, 2006

<Lyrics> Innervision by System of a Down

I have to admit, I didn't necessarily fall in love with SoaD (Wikipedia) till "Toxicity". Yeah "Suite Pee" and "Sugar" were nice and were nice little scathing social, political commentaries. But I fell for them like a pre-teen for 98 degrees when Toxicity came out.

With an overflow of creativity, System of a Down released a companion album called "Steal this Album!" In the same vein as the Abbie Hoffman book its another challenging album. God, I love these guys.

I wanted to share the lyrics to InnerVision with you... So here you go:
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Innervision Lyrics
I have a home
Longing to roam
I have to find you
i have to meet you

Signs of your face
Slowing your pace
I need your guidance
I need to seek my, innervision

My pipols dance
Lost in a trance
Your sacred silence
Losing all violence

Stars in their place
Mirror your face
I have to find you
I have to seek my, innervision

It's never too late to reinvent the bicycle
A smile brings forth energy or life
Giving your force

It's never too late to reinvent the bicycle
A smile brings forth energy or life
Giving your force

There is only one true path to life
the road that leads to all, leads to one
(Innervision, innervision)
There is only one true path to life
the road that leads to one.

Your sacred silence,
Losing all violence.

Like any lyrics I share, it's only a small piece to the music. You can listen to System on Pandora and buy it at Amazon. Enjoy!