Sunday, January 27, 2008

Adventures in Sobriety Part Deux: The Frat Party

What can be said about a frat party that hasn't already been said.

The guys were all big burly meat heads. The girls were all lasciviously drunk and grinding horribly on the dance floor. There were drinking games (flippy cup). There was jungle juice. Everyone looked suspiciously similar. People kept handing me beers. There was a gaggle of fifteen (maybe eighteen) year old boys mysteriously occupying the middle of the room. The girl that went to t he restroom before me threw up in the sink.

Thats not saying the night was without its fun or mischief. I was sober to catch a few video gems.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

I heart Dark Room

I began using Dark Room this morning and I am converted. I've always been lacking a bit in the attention span department, which you might know if you've ever had a real live conversation with me. I switch subjects faster than a race car driver switches lanes. Writing had become the chore of trying to ignore my sms, my roommate, my email (3 accounts), gtalk, aim, facebook, flickr, tumblr, myspace, google reader and manage my musical selections. While its logically simple to close out of these programs one look at the little firefox icon at the corner of my screen and I'm sucked right back into the vortex of internet hell. I think to myself, I'll just quickly check my email. Suddenly an hour has been wasted looking at only God knows what and before I know it the entire morning, afternoon, evening is missing. Nothing has been written.

Dark room is created to solve the problem of distraction. Its a full blacked out screen. Surprisingly effective. Just you and the words. (The original program Write Room was developed for macs)

The above is what I've completed in the past twenty minutes or so. I'm excited. I've got a soundtrack and a little forward momentum.

Happy Saturday.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Adventures in Sobriety : Part Un

I'm not drinking.

This will shock and amuse my friends. It will please and humor my mother.

No its not a sort of take it easy for a while, which quickly descends back into drinker-ville, but a real life down to earth month long break from the bottle.

It began with a casual handshake (to be fair I was still recovering from the weekend long hangover and hardly realized what I was agreeing to) for a two, wait three, nope count 'em four week break which allowed the occasional glass of wine (red because its heart healthy).

Last night marked my first night out sans alcohol. At a Rolling Stones Magazine Malibu Open Bar nonetheless. A few observations:
  1. The drunk girl- she's kind of obnoxious and makes you feel a little embarrassed for her; not necessarily the person you want to become when you're wearing a satin dress and knee high boots (or a gray AA t-shirt and a vest for that matter).
  2. I miss dancing sober- When I was a freshman in college I used to go to Lotus, when it opened in 2001 and you could still go see the not yet famous Paris Hilton being cock slapped on the basement dance floor (I mean this literally) ; I was poor, there were no open bars, yet somehow every wednesday I made it out on the dance floor and stayed till four in the morning without a buzz. Long after all my friends had abandoned ship, I rocked on. I missed that, it was nice to remember that I don't need two beers and a shot of jack to shake my thang on the dance floor.
  3. Not drinking on the one night all your girlfriend's finally get together, sort of makes you the butt of all their jokes. Take it in stride, they still love you.
  4. Not having a hangover Friday morning is quite supreme.
  5. Unless you're completely lame, the night will be just as fun sober and more memorable to boot, as it was when you were drinking.
  6. Once you stop drinking all your usually sober-ish friends will decide to pick up the bottle and invite you to a bar. They will then ridicule you for not drinking when they're drinking and try to tempt you into drinking again. (This is really an amendment to number 3, maybe they don't still love you. Bastards.)
(Forgot: Seeing Mario Van Peebles parade around the party like the B celebrity that he is, second best part of the night. Running through the windy street with city grit whipping our faces and acting like goofballs was the first.)


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Descriptions, Descriptions, Descriptions.

I've been thinking a lot in terms of the descriptive lately with a heavy focus on people. Living in New York gives you the opportunity to be inspired again and again by the hundreds of people you pass daily. I watched the old man sitting across from me on my way into work and I imagined what I would describe about him if he were to be a character in a story of mine.

Would it be his newish brown coat with the plaid lining that looked all at once trendy yet tradition. His fresh ironed and starched pants blue work pants that could have been part of a suit or a work uniform, leading me to wonder about his blue or white collar status. Would it be the way that he sat, slightly overweight and hunched in his seat that reminded me of an adolescent. The way that his large jowly cheeks hung around his mouth, as if in anticipation of the many expressions that passed through his face over the seventy odd years of his life. His elongated nose, that somehow drew attention to the sleepy eyes on either side of them. The
white hair of his eyebrows. Or simply the girlishly long and extraordinary immaculately clean nails at the end of his yellow -grayish skinned fingers, that cleared up the earlier speculation of his status in life. They were not the nails of someone who had labored all their lives.

I passed a description of one of the main characters, Rahel, in The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy which I found particularly pleasing a few days ago and I had no context until now in which to write about it:
He first noticed Rahel in the school library and then again, a few days later in Khan Market. She was in jeans and a white T-shirt. Part of an old patchwork bedspread was buttoned around her neck and trailed behind her like a cape. Her wild hair was tied back to look straight, though it wasn't. A tiny diamond gleamed in one nostril. She had absurdly beautiful collarbones and a nice athletic run.
There goes a jazz tune, Larry McClaslin though to himself, and followed her into a bookshop, where neither of them looked at books.
What I found particularly striking about the description are the way these details, tied into the context of the story and say so much about Rahel without saying anything at all and how it also gives you a glimpse into Larry who finds this strange and chaotic woman attractive.

These are the talents I hope to somehow absorb and translate into my work over the coming months. Descriptions that add to the bigger picture of the narrative in just a few short sentences, revealing enough to give the reader an idea into the psyche of the character but not to ruin the imagination.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Damn You Idiotarod!

Every year right after it passes I say how much I wish that I had gathered a group of people and a shopping cart and run. This year, of course, I realized it was coming up before it passed, could probably rally the people to do it but happen to not be drinking at the moment. And what fun would racing down the streets of Brooklyn, costumed and in the freezing cold be if you weren't fairly close to pissy drunk.

So Damn you Idiotarod 2008. We'll try again next year.
Also if you've never heard of it before check out the website and find out what it is, there are some traditions that you won't find anywhere else except for New York.


Writing: My Elusive Short Story.

Having been thinking about the things I want this next year and trying to set a few goals for writing since it seems that I've always wrote and never done anything with it, I had a revelation. I kept thinking how I'd like to write more short stories and submit more in the next coming year, but what I realized this morning is that my short story tools are rusty. Though I have completed some pieces of short fiction over the past year I hardly remember reading any collections of short stories save one (not including the ones I hadn't completed). If the key to learning the art of writing is reading, then the key to learning the art of short stories is obvious.

Ah, why is it that epiphanies are often so obvious after we have them?


Sunday, January 20, 2008


By Louise Glück via the latest issue of the Paris Review.

A cool wind blows on summer evenings, stirring the wheat.
The wheat bends, the leaves of the peach trees
rustle in the night ahead.

In the dark, a boy’s crossing the field:
for the first time, he’s touched a girl
so he walks home a man, with a man’s hungers.

Slowly the fruit ripens—
baskets and baskets from a single tree
so some rots every year
and for a few weeks there’s too much:
before and after, nothing.

Between the rows of wheat
you can see the mice, flashing and scurrying
across the earth, though the wheat towers above them,
churning as the summer wind blows.

The moon is full. A strange sound
comes from the field—maybe the wind.

But for the mice it’s a night like any summer night.
Fruit and grain: a time of abundance.
Nobody dies, nobody goes hungry.

No sound except the roar of the wheat.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

When Life Hands You Lemons...Go to Paris

I finally bought my ticket to Paris today, which is quite possibly one of the most exciting things to have happened in a long time. I was thinking, Life may not turn out the way you want it to and People aren't what you'd hoped or expected they'd be and there will always be things around to go wrong, but I can always control myself at least (and that self is going to buy a ticket to Paris, whether she can afford it or not).

So here I am headed to Paris on March 30th for 15 days. I haven't got much figured out (though I do have one friend in Paris) and I've still got a lot of saving to do (The plan is to read as many books between now and then as possible, write a lot, learn a little french and rent as many seasons of various shows as I can consume between now and then so as to suck up all the time I usually might need to spend money), but I'm just as confident in things working out as I was on Sunday that I would purchase my ticket this week.

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The Eve

On the eve of things I have not known,
A quarter past the first of confusion.
I draw things beautifully in the sand
and wait for them to come to fruition.

(I wake this morning with words on the tip of my tongues and creeping stealthy out of my closed eyelids. Some days I conduct a little chase and am lucky if I get a few back. I think its imitation, but I'm sure someone is very flattered.)

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cinematic Orchestra


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

If there is anything to know about me, it is that I like for things to be circular, to start somewhere and end somewhere in a roundish sort of way. I think of many things that way and have devised a philosophy regarding the circular nature of things all my own (or maybe I learned it somewhere.) I had been thinking of posting more Winterson this holiday season as I had done last holiday season, to bring it back full circle I think, but had nothing in mind really to post, with the exception of that which I'd already posted. So this morning while riding the train when the introduction to Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit came into my mind, I thought automatically that I wanted to post it and how it related rather directly to my current state of mind.

Another of my favorite things if you knew anything about me you'd know, is to share things that I love with others and this introduction is one of my favorite introductions of all the introductions that I've read. Not that there is much to it, there isn't, just that there is a certain truthfulness that I've found to the words.

Oranges are not the only fruit was written during the winter of 1983 and the spring of 1984. I was 24. At that time I was sharing two rooms and a hip bath with the actress Vicky Licorish. She had no money, I had no money, we could not afford the luxury of seperate whites wash and so were thankful of the fashion for coloured knickers which allowed those garments most closely associated with our self esteem, not to be grey. Dinginess is death to a writer. Filth discomfort, hunger, cold trauma and drama, don't matter a bit. I have had plenty of each they have only encouraged me, but dinginess, the damp small confines of the mediocre and the gradual corrosion of beauty and light, the compromising and the settling; these things make good work impossible. When Keats was depressed he put no a clean shirt. When Radclyffe Hall was oppressed she ordered new sets of silk underwear from Jermyn Street. Byron, as we all know allowed only the softest, purest whitest next to his heroic skin, and I am a great admirer of Byron. So it seemed to me in those days of no money, no job, no prospects and a determined dinginess creeping up from the lower floors of our rooming house that there had to be a centre, a talisman, a fetish even, that secured order where there seemed to be none; dressing for dinner every night in the jungle, or the men who polished their boots to a hard shine before wading the waters of Gallipoli. To do something large and to do it well demands such observances, personal and peculiar, laughable as they often, are because they stave off that dinginess of the soul that says taht everything is small and grubby and nothing is really worth the effort.

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BBC Teaches French

So I'm trying to find a cheap and easy way to pick up a little french. It doesn't have to be conversational as honestly I wonder how conversational you can be after studying a language for 3 months, but I'd like to be at the very least be able to feel like I'm trying. There is, I think a bit of pressure for the American traveling to France to have a better grip of the language than other places. Given one, their thoughts about Americans and two, the rumors that vendors will often try to rip off people who don't speak the language. I'm not really sure whether the second is true but I'm also not sure I'd like to find out especially if I'm there alone.

The BBC lessons are fairly harmless emails that come into your box once a week. Sort of a constant reminder to stay on track. Its supposed to be completed in a three month time, which is quite fitting for my needs.


French Steps

French Steps - Tip 1

Bonjour, here's the first of our weekly emails with tips and encouragement.

If you can't read this email properly, view our online version

Tip 1

The aim is for you to complete French Steps in three months, and we'll be providing an end of course assessment (OK, it's a test) so you can see how well you've done.

Click here for a few tips to get you started:

We also suggest you find someone who can follow the course at the same time as you. Visit the tip page to find out how to use the course together.

Next week we'll be back with more tips. We hope you'll find French Steps useful and entertaining.

Good luck with your French!

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Reading Too Much Makes the Brain Soft

The NY Times has a fantastic article about the times when other forms of media hadn't been introduced and people worried about the negative effects of reading to much:
We’re not the first generation to invest reading with miraculous powers. But until radio and television dethroned the book, social reformers worried about too much reading, not too little. Advice about when and where not to read was once a medical specialty. In an 1806 diagnosis, a British doctor hypothesized that the “excess of stimulus” produced by reading novels “affects the organs of the body and relaxes the tone of the nerves.” Reading at the table interfered with your digestion, reading before lunch with your morals. Another expert, in 1867, warned that “to read when in bed ... is to injure your eyes, your brain, your nervous system, your intellect.” Cue to the other in-bed activity that makes you go blind. Like masturbation, reading was too pleasurable for its own good; like masturbation, it threatened to upstage real human contact (messy, tedious, disappointing) with virtual pleasures.
Reading was for girls what gaming is for boys: absorption shading into addiction. And like the Xbox or the potato chip, the pleasure it gave in the moment was proportionate to its dangers in the long term. Then, reading was a sign of laziness; now, readers get credit for hard work.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Blogging and Not Blogging

Its been a week or more since my last post, which seems weird considering the amount that I posted when I had so much free times during the holidays but I suppose it isn't. The first full week of being back to work felt a little draining. Though I can't say I minded it much, I just ended each day feeling the need to veg out and relax. Mostly I spent a lot of the time with friends, discussing politics. discussing life. discussing art. discussing reality. discussing happiness. discussing music. discussing dreams. discussing for the sake of discussing. Smoking too many cigarettes. Drinking too much whiskey. Overcaffeinated. I hadn't realized how much I needed a post holiday mental vacation.

It was fun but now I'm trying to get back to work. More post to follow?
I hope so.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

The More Loving One (an old favorite)

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

-- W. H. Auden


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Mudita and the Pursuit of Happiness

This past week I met a buddhist writer and the founder of a meditation center, named James Baraz. We talked casually about writing with all the distractions from modern technology and he encouraged me to come to a talk he was giving at the NY Insight Center about "Awakening Joy" a course that he teaches at Berkley. Though I've always been hugely curious about Buddhist practices the new agey title of the seminar made me feel a little wary. I decided to go on a whim, he was standing there gazing at me expectantly with his hippie mustache, how really could I have said no.

I took a few notes while I was there but the idea that captured me the most was Mudita- the buddihist word for rejoicing in another's happiness. The wiki definition is finding pleasure in another person's well-being. It is supposed to be the most difficult of the brahmaviharas (buddhist virtues) to cultivate which I've find generally true in my dealings with people. We, selfishly, may be less happy if for instance, whatever makes someone dear to us joyful simultaneously takes them away from us or if someone does well while we experience misfortune, but Mudita encourages people to connect with a sympathetic sense of joy We meditated on the principal. I think it was my favorite part of the whole experience.

The whole thing strikes me as a bit over the top, but it was moving and cheesy and kind of great. I'm quite glad I met Mr. Baraz and look forward to keeping a regular correspondence with him.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

More thoughts on the New Year

A friend, with whom I have regularly over the course of the past six years engaged and debated over all manner of philosophical and artistic ideas had this to say in regards to the new year and resolutions:
This year I will learn to know myself in a new way. I will find the themes and patterns that emerge naturally from my actions and desires, and I will - like Dali adding a few pen strokes to turn a block of newspaper text into a picture of a sleeping giraffe - use planned actions to highlight and emphasize that hidden me. Rather than meditating on what I could be, or dreaming of things I will do in 10 or 50 years, I will meditate on what I have done, and I will think of ways to do that more or better immediately upon awakening. Rather than focusing on what I would like to be, I will focus on what I am. Instead of planning to do something good for society, I will continue to do the things that I already do that help people.

I found it to be a little in line with my own New Years theme.

Bohemia: Where Art, Angst, Love and Stong Coffee Meet

I'm reading Bohemia by Herbert Gold again and while it doesn't quite affect me the way it did upon first reading (all young and starry eyed I wanted to embody every iota of the words he spoke, its a more of a quick lighthearted read than I remembered) it does still create in me a certain longing for a time I've never known, as well as the urge to run back to Tiny Cup (neighborhood coffee house) and knock around a few Big Ideas with friends.
My whitewashed monk's roost has gradually become stuffed with the debris of life. Books, music, painting, prints, files, clothes I didn't wear yesterday or even the day before that' carbon copies, notebooks, the poetry I won't publish, journals, and income-tax records. Yet when I arrived in San Francisco, I came stripped to the bone--two barracks bags and the intention to live on pure spirit. (I may have meant nerve.) What stuck in my mind about Walden, which I had read like the Torah, was Thoreau spying a hobo crossing a field with all his possession in two sacks. And Thoreau was filled with pity, because the hobo still had to carry those two sacks.

It's easy to cry "Simplify! Simplify!" Complications are inexorable, inexorable. My formerly monkish roost now has children's drawings on the walls...I couldn't escape the common destiny, thank God

Nevertheless, Thoreau's impulse toward purity, spirit and lonely nerve provides an enduring subtext to American ambition. It's one of the most moving nostalgias we keep amid all the noise and hustle.
I'd been talking a lot about simplified living with all my friends but it seems now returning from my trip I've only made my life more cluttered with things than when I began. It seems life is like that, I'd lost nearly everything only to find it slowly filled up with new people and new belongings and new dramas. Coming across this in the book was kind of a reminder how life will always create new things to fill up the voids. No matter how much I'm always trying to let go.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

We hold these truths

Sitting here thinking of all the things I know
and all the things I do not know.

The impossibility of ever knowing-
and the fact that we try endlessly anyway.


Viva la Difference

A letter I found from an old friend, who taught me a lot about living and gave me words to live by. Dated September 10, 1999.

"My mother died this summer, and the months leading up to her passing and the months since have been times of great introspection and soul searching. I think you will be pleased to know, Marcia, I have decided I kind of like the person my mother taught me to be----the kind of person who in today's world is a little different---different because I wear a smile and am happy most of the time; I speak to people; I look at the positive side of things rather than the negative; I think of other people and encourage them and notice them and make them feel special; I show care and compassion and respect to all; I don't make fun of other people; I don't gossip; I don't backstab and I'm not mean-spirited, boorish, sullen, secretive, flippant, rude, spiteful, vindictive nor two faced; I don't hold grudges I'm enthusiastic; I show my inner happiness; I like to have fun. If thats being different, viva la difference!"

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A big box of old things

One of the goals of my road trip was to bring back personal belongings that were left in Texas years ago. It amazes me all the things we forget we have owned once they're packed in a box out of sight.

I get the feeling that a lot of my post over these next couple of weeks will incorporate things that I come across in trying to sort through everything.

Bare with me, with the end of one year completed and the beginning of another underway, a little nostalgia should be permitted.


Resolutions 1998

I didn't actually make any resolutions this year although I answer the question mechanically whenever asked "Read more, write more, travel more."

I stopped making yearly resolutions a while ago.

Its the same every year, you achieve some things, don't achieve others and you try to make it better than the year before (both in what you achieve and what you intend on achieving).

I did however find my resolutions written down ten years ago at the age of 14. I find it striking how little everything and nothing changes:

  1. Be less Annoying (the age when I became self-ware)
  2. Do school work and get better grades
  3. Eat more Healthy
  4. Clean More
  5. Ask for less
  6. Be less sarcastic (never achieved that one)
  7. Have more self confidence
  8. Read more
  9. Write more and better
  10. Write in my journal more


Back to the Knoxville Hostel (a few photographs)

Our breakfast of Champions. Thanks Al!
The Common Area

The girls dorm consisted of two bunk beds, since no one else was there, we both got a bottom bunk.

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The Adventures and Misadventures of West Virginia*


I suppose it happens to everyone, and while we were fortunate enough never to have made a wrong turn or missed an exit (until we got to Manhattan) over the course of two days. We were, however misdirected by google maps an hour out of the way though West Virginia into a small mountain towns on US 219. I have tried to recreate this glitch in directions a few time with no luck.

A few notes regarding being lost and a little frightened:

  • Two frightened people, who are also close friends, will do their best not to frighten the each other. So while they both may have thought they were being followed neither will say anything until they're nearly home.
  • Mountain towns are only enchanting for the first twenty minutes, afterwards the romanticism wears off and you realize that its the exact same as any small rural town, except it has a more beautiful back drop.
  • People in that part of West Virginia do only two things: go to the salon and go to church.
  • Bridges made of wood don't look safe nor do they feel safe once you're driving over them.
On a more positive note without the glitch we would never have driven through the East River Mountain, which was kind of amazing.

*and not, as the post was previously titled, Tennessee (which will likely continue to show up in everyone's reader despite the edit)

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Stars and Mountains: Tennesse and Virginia.

  • I feel as though this post could suffer terribly if I try to romance the stars as they were in Tennessee. What can be said about them that hasn't been said before? The problems is, when living in the city, it becomes easy to forget the number of stars in the sky and how beautiful it is when there is nothing else to see for miles around. There with nothing but the stars you begin to question your decision to be surrounded by concrete and steel, when the stars are so much more wonderful than all the lights in New York City.

If the Stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Virginia was by far the most beautiful portion of the trip, and at the risk of sounding horribly cliched I will describe the Appalachian mountains as best I can: There is no other way to see the country except by car, since everything is a blur and places have lost their significance, the reasons we go within the US seems to have all the wrong motivations to really experience and appreciate everything beautiful there is to offer. I have no friends that have made trips to Niagra Falls and the Grand Canyons as adults. Every one is off to gamble in Vegas or to the beach or to visit friends, but no one is going to see the mountains or stare at a gorge and to feel the immenseness of the country. So it is by road now that suddenly we can see and take in, when there is nothing left to distract us, the beauty of the mountains that we forgot existed. There on the roads, which wound up and down through the hillside like man-made valleys, yet marked by pavement instead of rivers, suddenly one could feel small and the force of history baring down and not forget the importance of things. Not forget the passage of time. I saw on my journey old and rusty shells of trucks and tractors sitting sloped on the hillside, almost forgot yet in front stood the mark of the modern age in the shape of a misplace billboard. The tree covered mountains rising up through the fog and hugged by clouds that looked as soft as dreams, more rounded than the Rockies, just like I'd learned in school. I saw it it all and it was enough that I wanted to sit down by the side of the road and cry, that all these things could be nearby and yet so far, and that somehow we'd lived our whole lives without seeing them.
Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself... "Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again."...The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive.-Henry David Thoreau, Walden

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Texas and Arkansas.

I would love to say that my writing skills could make the beginning of our road trip more interesting, but I'd be lying. On our way out of Texas our anxiousness kept us from talking too much and we traveled through places both of us had been through many times. Texas is as always a hard state to get out of, its huge and flat and there isn't much to see. It was however the best part of the trip for photo taking, since the sun was shining and I was still excited to try to capture as much as possible (this is prior to remembering the limitations of my camera).

I would love to say that Arkansas was much better, but it was pretty much the same with more trees.

Dallas Zoo Giraffe (I've always loved looking at this from the highway)

Visit Paris

Rear view Sunset in Tennessee:

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Welcome 2008

I tried very hard not to repost this, but alas after staring at if for an hour I think its best that I give into my urge to share it.

No worries. I have a few original posts on the way.

New Beginning

And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate.

So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years -
Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l'entre deux guerres -
Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate,
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate - but there is no competition -
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our
- T. S. Eliot
East Coker
Four Quartets

Via Duncan's blog

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