Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Why We're Here



After a year of writing and about that much time working to layout, edit, design and do it all over again - Why We're Here: The Powerful Impact of Public Broadcasters When They Turn Outward is finally finished. Drawing lessons from our work with public broadcasters, Why We’re Here, documents how these organizations (and others like them) innovate, become more intentional in relating to communities, engaging and mobilizing people and ultimately in deepening their impact in people’s lives.

Oh, and I'm an author along with my boss (Rich Harwood).


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Real or Not

I was wondering, if states that support Barack Obama are fake America - where have most of our presidents come from. Turns out fake America is whooping ass.
Name State Real?
Clinton AR Yes
Nixon CA No
Bush, GW CT No
Carter GA Yes
Hoover IA No
Reagan IL No
Lincoln KY Yes
Adams MA No
Adams, JQ MA No
Kennedy MA No
Bush, GHW MA No
Truman MO Yes
Polk NC No
A. Johnson NC No
Ford NE Yes
Pierce NH No
Cleveland NJ No
Van Buren NY No
Fillmore NY No
Roosevelt, T NY No
Roosevelt, F NY No
Grant OH No
Hayes OH No
Garfield OH No
Harrison OH No
McKinley OH No
Harding OH No
Buchanan PA No
Eisenhower TX Yes
Johnson, L TX Yes
Washington VA No
Jefferson VA No
Madison VA No
Monroe VA No
Harrison VA No
Tyler VA No
Taylor VA No
Wilson VA No
Arthur VT No
Coolidge VT No

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Grateful. Proud

Dave pointed out last night that Obama won every single state I've ever lived or worked:

Indiana,
Ohio,
Minnesota,
Iowa,
Michigan,
Wisconsin,
Colorado,
Washington,
DC,
Maryland.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Where were you when...

I'd venture a guess that most of the folks who are inclined to read this blog (or for that matter any blog) come from a generation without a lot of epic shared moments. I'm talking about moments that years later you can reflect on and say without a doubt where you were when XYZ happened. For most it's the Challenger explosion, September 11, Tieneman Square, A couple of Very Special Episodes of Blossom. I mean sure there are probably others, but honestly we're a generation where you may remember where you were when your parents told you where they were when Kennedy was shot.

I wonder if the lack of these moments and the obsessive self-congratulatory nature of the Boomers is why we're so prone to nostaligic overcompensation. Remember the 80s, the 90s. Etc. Either we're really insecure and are trying to redefine our relevance through a constant repetition of meaningless tv jingles, one hit wonders and cartoon icons, or we're all far too close to goldfish when it comes to our memories. Made happy by the castle, or the flashback each time, no matter the interval between the moment and the memory. Speaking of which, remember Ani Difranco's album Little Plastic Castle. Yeah, less than 10 years ago was great.

The moments, the ones that seem to belong in that Jungian collective conscious are often shocking, tragic and sudden. For a generation with "appointment tv" the great moments fall outside those scheduling blocks.

But next week, you can plan for one of these moments. Given the millions (or a lot) of hours of our lives which never leave a lasting imprint on our memories, there's something truly compelling about knowing ahead of time that a moment will be with you forever. That what you're about to experience will be recalled, shared, replayed and definitional. But Tuesday, upon the election of Barack Obama - another moment will be made into memory. I wonder if knowing that in advance will change my perception, if the lack of shock will rob it of its luster.

In the end, I'm left with a thought inspired by David Berman - Tuesday, I will watch as a moment becomes a monument.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

State your case

Downloading from Youtube a couple of songs (oh, yes you can strip out the audio from Youtube) I happened to notice that I'd chosen Nebraska by Springsteen and Ohio by CSNY. I started to wonder two things - which states have songs named for them and of these what's the best state name song. Earlier on this blog I'd posed a question about how many songs you could name with colors in the title. So now the question (without a time constraint) is how many songs are there with states as the song title. I'd also add, how many songs are there with cities as song titles.

My list off the top of my head, please add others in the comments

STATES
California Dreaming - Momma's and Papas
Ohio - CSNY
Ohio - Modest Mouse
Ohio - Damien Jurado
Nebraska - Bruce Springsteen


CITIES
Allentown- Billy Joel
Atlantic City - Bruce Springsteen
New York, New York - Frank Sinatra
Twin Falls - Built to Spill
Dallas - Silver Jews
New Madrid - Uncle Tupelo
Istanbul - TMBG

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Where is my mind?

When I first started writing this blog I thought myself somewhat witty for selecting the title “where is my mind.” I imagine, I don’t remember well enough to say with certainty, that I was pleased with finding a good pop culture reference, something not too obscure, something not too mundane.

I’m trying to remember the person I was when I first started this blog. It was more than four years ago, I’d not yet lived in Colorado, Washington, or DC. Then like now, I was searching for who I wanted to become, searching for what to make of ability and injury, doubt and arrogance. I believe I began with a desire to share my thoughts, an urge to make known what I believed about the world, myself, and to some extent my place within that world. When I started this blog, Where is my Mind was posed as a question, but first and foremost it was a declaration. A statement that the words below would, if read, and reprocessed illustrate where I was, mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. When I started this site was an outlet, a microphone, a platform to explore, rant, announce and share. For several years it served me well, and gave me a sense of my own voice, and a way to be public and present in the lives of a great many I love.

As I return to this space, to these pages, to this site. I find that I still like the title. It still seems apt, and slightly cooler than its author. But instead of a certain declaration that the words to follow will add up to some coherent whole, I’m finding myself questioning. I wonder, more than I have allowed myself to in a long while: Where is my mind. I’d like to see what I can learn about the man I am, and the man I seek to become – and I’m eager to see whether this site can give me just such an outlet.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A video I created

Working at The Harwood Institute I find myself getting to write and edit and create all kinds of things. My latest foray into the gaping maw that is media was this video. It's not great, but it's a step in the right direction. And if nothing else, it's a great excuse to play with FinalCut.



And yes, the intro and outro music are from a Josh Ritter song, but I'm hopeful that because the video is educational that it's alright.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Camera

Updates:

New job (Communications Manager at The Harwood Institute) More on this later (I hope).

New camera. I bought a Nikon D40. I'm in love with this thing. Click here for a whole mess of galleries the most recent 5 or 6 taken with my new toy.

Regionals -- BRDM finished tied for 7th. We upset the 6 seed in the first round on universe point. On universe point I had a d in the endzone and then scored the game winning goal. So that was a nice feeling. We played well the rest of the tournament narrowly missing out on a chance to play on day two.



This is game point...

What's next

So with Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize, he's now won a U.S. Presidential Election, Emmy and an Oscar.

So what's next?

Monster truck driver of the year? I figure that's about all that's left. Though when he unveils Big Carbon Foot Print it's all over

Monday, August 06, 2007

Hello, is this thing on.

So after an unpardonably long hiatus I've decided to revisit this time-suck, ego stroke endeavor I call a blog. Sadly I've missed out on telling some really fun stories and so on. That said, I'm back. Or at least I intend to be back.

Since I last wrote I've been to Alaska. That's probably the most noteworthy change in my life.

I've posted a bunch of photos from the trip on my picasa site.

Sometime soon I hope to write up an account of the stories (story) that give some structure and background to the photos. All in all it was an amazing experience. One of the most transformative of my life.

Since returning I've had a fairly strong gnawing desire to travel. To see more of the world. Something about being in a place largely unbothered by development and encroaching strip malls was incredible. It's made me want to see other ways of being. I want to go to other places. The trip also helped me to be a more adventurous traveler. The best story (one I'll write up soon) essentially convinced me that I can handle tough situations, that with Jess (particularly) I can figure out how to deal with unexpected circumstances and be alright. So I want to go to new places to see new things. I want to bring back stories and photos and memories. Suddenly just going to Boston or Seattle or Columbus feels slightly less satisfying. Not that there aren't amazing and incredible parts about those trips, but now I feel compelled to broaden my horizons as it were. To see what I haven't and try what I haven't.

I know I sound a little like a Sophmore coming back from a backpacking trip through Europe, but there is a little of that naive excitement for travel brewing. We'll see how long it lasts and how quickly I return to the cautious hermit I've long been. But here's hoping I get to see more of the world. It's a great regret of mine right now, and one I'm hoping to fix soon.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Four new works.

I have continued to play around with painting and have 4 new "pieces" to present. I don't know if these are the kinds of paintings that will make the ultimate cut - namely whether they will be scrapped when I need more canvas or if they'll be the kind of work I want to preserve even as I run low on painting surfaces.

A chief frustration right now is that I don't have the technique necessary to express any great ideas, and given that my view of art and interaction with art has been and I imagine will continue to be as conversation, I'm struggling. I'm trying to string together babble and syntactically flawed sentences all while hoping to express something of note. This is the same frustration I had learning French. I don't have the familiarity with the language I need to express the ideas I have. That said, it's still an interesting process. Pieces that I like and those that I disdain seem to emerge as if by accident. It's like some cosmic artistic slot machine. Sometimes I put in the effort and it's apple, orange, plum -- nothing. Other times it just seems to happen that it's cherry, cherry cherry -- and voila it's something I enjoy looking at. Hell with the "Blue Shirt" painting (titles suck) I found myself getting up in the middle of the night to look at it again. Something about it works for me. Scares me, but works for me.

Without further explanation and apology here are some of the things I've been working on lately. Critiques are welcomed. Please, help me get better. If, to continue an already belabored metaphor, I'm misprouncing things, or using bad visual grammar, someone let me know. Oh, and the paintings all look much better in person. In addition to my failings as a painter, I struggle as a photographer of my works. Go figure.







It's warm out. I wonder if that is why I'm hot.

I guess not, apparently according to the tautologically gifted Mims the reason I'm hot is more likely because I'm fly, not because it's warm out. Who knew.

See:



A while back Ann sent me the link to this Village Voice article which is a brilliant analysis of Mims' "This is Why I'm Hot."

A particularly good section of the article, supported by a graphic no less:

The other remarkable, oft-quoted line in "This Is Why I'm Hot" is "I could sell a mil' sayin' nothin' on a track." Critics gibe that "This Is Why I'm Hot" proves precisely that; others muse on what Mims would sell if he deigned to actually say something on a track. Would he sell less than a mil'? Exactly a mil', as when he said nothing? Or a great deal more than a mil'? The song does not elaborate.

In any event, note that he can do those things, not will, which suggests he might not. As these claims and predictions are speculative, there are more possible outcomes; it seems reasonable to assert that Mims can't sell more than a mil' sayin' nothin'. Though we would love to see him try.



If you haven't heard the song, click here. It's catchy, though oddly annoying simultaneously. Like a rap version of "Mmm Bop."

Monday, April 30, 2007

You Said Something.

For the past few days I've been obsessively listening to Talib Kweli and "You Said Something" by PJ Harvey. I've brought the two together into my new running mix. Nothing like mixes to, well, mix up artists into strange new combinations.

The lyrics to the PJ Harvey song that's been rotating through my consciousness for the past few days.

On a rooftop in Brooklyn At one in the morning Watching the lights flash In Manhattan I see five bridges The Empire State Building And you said something That I've never forgotten We lean against railings Describing the colours And the smells of our homelands Acting like lovers How did we get here? To this point of living? I held my breath And you said something And I'm doing nothing wrong Riding in your car The radio playing We sing up to the eighth floor A rooftop, Manhattan At one in the morning And you said something That I've never forgotten You said something You said something You said something That was really important.


From the Talib Kweli "Get By" remix featuring Kanye, Jay-Z and Mos Def.

The best lines come from Jay-Z, which is saying something given the others on the record:

Soon as I closed my eyes
Then I woke up behind
Thinking either I load up these nines
Or blow up with rhymes
cause this flow of mine is like blow up but lines of coca
And your folks think Hov' just wrote stuff to rhyme
Nah, I'm a poster for what happens seein your mom
Doin five dollars worth to work just to get a dime
So pardon my disposition
Why should I listen to a system that never listened to me?

Friday, April 13, 2007

I bow before the genious that is this t-shirt.

All hail, the best merger of high culture and pop culture in recent memory



They are sold out of the tshirts, but I will get one. Oh yes, I will.

If you don't get the reference click here.
I don't know how you da that Dada that you da so well.

Man that was a great moment in weather.

While searching out the weather for this weekend I happened upon an ad for The Weather Channel's "100 Biggest Moments in Weather." The host of the show is Harry Connick Jr. Because when I think of a person capable of fully debating the relative merits of various moments in weather, I would choose a jazz pianist. You know, why not? I've long believed that I can and sometimes will argue any topic for any reason. But this, this is almost beyond my capacity. Honestly the 100 Biggest Moments in Weather? How the fuck does one judge that? That's like the 100 Most Important Electrons of All Time. It's moronic and largely impossible to give meaning to things like that.

For instance, I would have to believe that things like a meteor smashing into the earth and creating a cloud of dust that blotted out the sun and rained ash might count as a big one. But I'm guessing since there's no footage that won't make the list. If the 100th Biggest Weather Moment is any clue the list is going to be ridiculous. They list the 1982 playoff game between the Jets and Patriots where it snowed a lot as the 100 Biggest Weather Moment of All time. We live on a planet that once lacked a water cycle. I figure the creation of a system whereby water moved about the planet would have to include something like 100 moments of greater import than a playoff game (not even a superbowl) in which snow played a factor.

In these list shows usually there are widely recognized if not always trusted "experts" who debate these things. There's Henry Rollins and Melissa Etheridge telling you about how great T-Rex really was. But who the heck is going to bring color to this. Is it a bunch of weathermen sitting around saying, "Man it sure did rain that day." "Yeah, but it wasn't as windy as March 11, 1974, boy howdy that was a Noreastern." Sigh. Nostalgia over weather.

Maybe they'll have sepia toned photographs and slowly pan over them as a robust but reassuring narrator explains the significance of the day by overenunciating and adopting an accent so as to read a copy of the weather report from the day in question. "Wow, Suzie you're right, that Mindy is one "dog-gone" cute puppy. And now for a look at Paul's wacky weather. Better make to bring in Mindy and all her doggy pals today. It's not safe for our four legged friends to be out there tonight. We're expecting winds out of the North East at 30-40 miles per hour. Because, when they're out 'reaching to capture a moment Everyone knows it's Windy.'"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

More Knut

My former co-worker Jennifer sent me news that some papers in Berlin are blaming Knut for the death of one of Berlin's pandas. This is slanderous. I will not stand for it.

Oh, and it's innacurate, but still.

Can you imagine this little guy hurting anything. I mean apart from my heart which aches when I look at his cute little self.

And yes, I realize that polar bears are fantastic killing machines and that they hunt humans. Blah, blah, blah. Whatever Jack London groupies. This Knut, he's adorable, and I'm sure cuddly.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Knut

Knut the polar bear cub at the Berlin zoo may be the cutest animal ever. Which is odd, because rarely do I associate cute with Germans. And this video vindicates that sentiment. Or at least further explains why German is not a language that can be made to comport with notions of playfulness and cuteness. This "music" video is adorable visually (it's a polar bear cub playing around it's gotta be cute) but annoying and largely disconcerting aurally. The childlike voice just makes it creepier. See if you agree.



Oh and then there's this, an Australian new broadcast about the cub, refers to him as cuddly Nut. Which is different, I'd argue than cute Knut. Apparently the Aussies don't have much experience with the name Knut, or you know the interest in asking anyone how to pronounce the name. Sweet. They're like Americans that way.

Know when to hold 'em.

How fucking thrilled is Ari Fleischer that he's not the White House spokesman right now? Seriously, do you figure he just wakes up, flips on CNN (well FoxNews) and thanks God that he is not having to answer for all this shit.

Ari Fleischer managed to govern his career by the logic of Kenny Rogers

Know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away.

Distract and Delay

Tom Delay was interviewed on Hardball and when asked about some harsh statements he made in his book about Dick Armey he flat denies writing them. Matthews reads aloud from the book. Still Delay refuses to admit writing it. Finally Matthews hands the book to Delay. He's going to have to admit it now, right. Nope, he simply explains that he doesn't have his reading glasses. Bravo. He's a virtuouso.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Party, "remixed."

A silly endeavor -- I spent a few hours last night editing the photos from the birthday party into a little video. I would need more photos to really have it fleshed out but it's fun if nothing else.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Beatboxing

A minute and a half of the best beatboxing I've seen.

The iRack

A funny, if overly obvious, sketch from MadTv. I wasn't aware the show still existed or that it was ever capable of humor. But this is fairly good.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hillary "Flips Out"



What does the logo look like to you? Yeah, me too. I saw this photo of Hillary and thought, wow she's really getting tough. She's like "Fuck you all." I was impressed by her tenacity and gumption. I mean she's in front of an array of hands flippin' off someone. Then I read the caption, apparently those are buildings. "Democratic Presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., gestures during a speech before the National League of Cities meeting in Washington, Tuesday, March 13, 2007. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)" The National League of Cities needs to get a new graphic designer. And someone on Hillary's staff should suggest that standing in front of a bunch of hands flipping the bird might not be ideal.

Though honestly, it's the coolest photo of the campaign so far.

Zach brings up a great idea: HRC staffers should really have a Top 10 list of things never to have her stand in front of.

1) Monica Lewinsky
2) Anything that suggests a giant penis. (it's safe for work)
3) The homeless
4) Alex Rodriguez

What others should she avoid.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Aftermath

This weekend was Asheley's birthday and mine as well. We held a party. Pictures were taken.

Pictures like these.

Aaron and Asheley Birthday Party 07

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Rudy

So back in 1993 Rudy Giuliani ran this ad It's both horrifically creepy and really transparent. The scene where she says he seemed strong and at the same time gentle, has the feel of a douche ad. It's uncomfortably awkward.

Then a couple seconds later she talks about wanting to have children with him. Fine. Except there she is in a hospital bed with Rudy by her side. Since the quality of the footage doesn't change it's clear that this was shot after the event. Meaning Rudy's wife got back into a hospital bed and pretended to have just given birth for a political ad. That's creepy. Later on in the ad we see Rudy with his child. Rudy is sitting there in a catchers stance, but his child is hitting off of a tee. He slaps his glove like someone is going to pitch to him. But the ball is clearly in front of him on a tee. Also, what the fuck is wrong with Rudy's son that he requires a catcher for a ball sitting on a tee? I know that he was once married to his cousin, but I thought that the son in the ad was not inbred.

I can only hope that he continues to use whatever firm produced this incredible drivel.

Uncle Ted

Ted Stevens, or as Alaskans call him, "Uncle Ted" is a prodigous provider of pork (and apparently alliteration). He suggested the "Bridge To Nowhere" among other amazing uses of Federal Tax dollars. I love an Alaskan. And I love the idea of Alaska, but a state where residents are paid to live there and where the Federal Government basically backs up a dump truck of money every year is not a place where people should get to simultaneously pretend that they are rugged and wholly independent. If you have a local economy almost entirely because of the generosity of tax payers in Evanston and Tempe and wherever else, you should not be too quick to complain about Democratic spending. But that's neither here nor there. The point of my little rant is that this year Ted Stevens has topped his "Bridge to Nowhere" with a train to the North Pole. Seriously, there is a town in Alaska called North Pole and they are about to receive 4 million dollars to expand a railroad. Ignoring the preposterousness of a town named North Pole for a moment,the town has 1,700 residents, which makes is suburb worthy in Alaska. He's literally funding the Polar Express, a train that goes to the North Pole. The attack ads are too easy to create. It's like Fisher Price my first negative ad.

The amazing thing about Stevens is just how brazen he is. Stevens is the guy who gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar and asks for the jar as well.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Stupid

Paul forwarded me this "Stupidity Tester."
According to this test, I'm 23% stupid. Which is apparently okay. Paul was only 12% stupid so either I'm twice as stupid as he is, or I'm one half as un-stupid as he is.


StupidTester.com says I'm 23% Stupid! How stupid are you? Click Here!


Now I wonder what I missed.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Another 5 minute music challenge

So a while back I posted a music challenge, name as many songs as you can in 5 minutes that contain references to color.

This challenge is similar. Take five minutes and post to the comments as many band names as you can that contain a living entity - a plant or animal (non-human).

I'll post my five minute list in the comments.

UPDATE
So exactly 5 minutes later I could think of 20 bands. It's far harder than I would have expected. Let's see what y'all can do.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Slowly but...

So as I continue to somewhat haphazardly apply paint to canvas board, I figured I'd upload a few photos of the latest works. Earlier I posted my first painting a take off on Jasper Johns' targets. This online set has another one. This one is better color wise, it's less pure primary color and I think that helps. Right now I'm playing around with collage, which creates depth far better than I could using just paint. Trompe L'oeil masters don't have much cause for worry.

From Aaron's Work


Suggestions? Titles for the works? How can I make these better? What's missing?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Left Behind

 


I saw this finely made, discarded boot while walking to the gym. I like to think of the story behind the loss. Did the boot fall out of a bag? Was it horrifically uncomfortable? Why just one? Where is the other? I cropped the photo to accentuate the vertical lines and the different textures. I wanted to emphasis the distance and the length of separation from other objects.

Thoughts?
Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscars: The Grouch.

The Oscars lasted so long last night that I'm pretty sure Abigail Breslin is able to drink. I think when they started Peter O'Toole still had facial affect. Seriously, it was a long show. According to the Post the broadcast was just under 4 hours making it nearly 1.5 hours longer than last year. I feel like a general rule for the Oscars should be to have a show that is not longer than the combined length of all the short subject films combined. Instead of watching the Oscars you could have watched An Inconvenient Truth and Little Miss Sunshine and still had time to see the opening monologue and the final two awards and probably one of the short features.

A few highlights: Ellen's opening monologue was really pleasant. Not outstanding but funny. And it featured one truly hillarious joke: "If there weren't blacks, Jews and gays, there would be no Oscars...or anyone named Oscar, if you think about it." Another quality Ellen moment came when she asked Steven Speilberg to take a photo of her and Scorcese. Then corrected his framing, and asked for a second try.

Little Miss Sunshine won a few awards, too few for me. Al Gore was funny. Jennifer Hudson appeared in serious danger of wardrobe malfunction but the collective forces of gravity and cotton's tensile strength prevent the scandalizing of everyone involved. Martin Scorcese and his caterpillar-etic eyebrows finally won, and people were happy about that. I was largely unaffected by this news, but was happy as it signaled the end of the show.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Crossover, not if Tim has anything to do with it

Tim Hardaway, part of the Golden State Trio Run TMC, is best known for his great crossover dribble. The essence of a crossover is the ability to go either way with the ball. Turns out this only applies to basketball. Because when it comes to sexuality, Tim is straight. He's only going one way. And boy does he hate you if you're not like him.

`You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States.''


What an ignorant moron. Tim Hardaway hates gay people. Alright, but honestly who really cares what Tim Hardaway thinks. He doesn't think that's right.He would ask for the teammate to get traded. But, according to the host, most other teams wouldn't want a gay player. So they come to the conclusion that their career should end.

What if it was Dwayne Wade? He says that couldn't be. Apparently you cannot be good and gay. Who knew. Tim Hardaway expert.

====
UPDATE
As I was heading for work I saw Tim Hardaway on ESPN explaining how upset he was and how he's going to have to do a lot of thinking. I'm guessing his agony is less related to concern for the hatred he expressed, than for the paycheck he's likely to lose because of this. ESPN, I would imagine, is less inclined to have a virulent and public homophobe serving as analyst. Didn't they tell him you have to be homophobic off the record, geez.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"A" Team.



Petty? Yes. Outstanding, you bet.
Congressman Weiner has apparently had enough of the Republic Party and their inability or disinterest in governance.

Accumulation

According to the National Weather Service it looks like we had about 2 inches of snow/rain/sleet. So there you go. I was wrong. Oh well. Still, not that big a deal, except here - where all the schools were cancelled.

Fell.

Listening to The Clash today. Finding it particularly nice for an overcast day with a little slush everywhere. Nothing more elaborate than that. Just an update on the irrelevant minutae of my life.

"I wasn't born so much as I fell out"

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Over Under

A few weeks ago my boss and I were talking about the "blizzard" forecasted for the DC area that evening. I told him that my general belief was that whenever dealing with DC and snow take the under. Meaning if the weather folks and general public expect 2 inches, I bet below that. In those situations I anticipate half an inch, or something like that. Today everyone seems to be buzzing about this major storm we're supposed to receive. I haven't checked any weather reports, I haven't paid any attention. Why? Because whatever happens, I know I'll have dealt with more and worse conditions, and no matter what I'll be at work tomorrow. So anything else is only interesting for guessing game purposes.

Like I said I haven't checked the weather, so I'm not sure what we're supposed to receive. But the general feeling on the street seems to be like children before a snow storm they expect will close school. So from that I have to believe that there is a good deal of snow expected and or a lot of freezing rain.

My prediction, using my patented DC General Hysteria Dopler Radar, is that we'll get an one inche of snow and maybe some sleet that will freeze. Oh, and that everyone who braved the lines at Whole Foods to stock up on staples like sushi, mangoes, quinoa and 13 dollars a pound cheese to outlast the blizzard of 2007 will find themselves going to work tomorrow.

Care to place bets on the snow fall for the next 24 hours.

My prediction is 1 inch. What's yours?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Minnesota Party

Photos from Libby's 3rd Annual Minnesota Party.

I went as Tangled Up in Blue. I wore a blue blazer, blue jeans and was wrapped in blue yarn and blue painters tape. I also had a "book" of Italian poetry from the 13th Century and a cook book on cuisine of the "Great North Woods." Hooray for abstract costumes.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Teasing

Earlier this week former NBA center John Amaechi announced he is gay, marking the first time anyone who has ever played in the NBA admitted to being gay. Professional sports are rarely described as places of great enlightment. I'm guessing there tends to be better racial understanding in the NBA and NFL than in a lot of other work places. I don't imagine that being an out man in the NBA would be easy.

A lot of players have been quoted and some sound pretty dumb, some informed and then there is Shavlik Randolph

Shavlik Randolph: "As long as you don't bring your gayness on me I'm fine." Apart from the general "ew icky" factor and the incredible lack of understanding about the way the world works...he doesn't even manage to couch his fear in a grammatically sensical way. Bring gayness on me. What? Force gayness on me, sure. Bring gayness around me. For the love of god Shavlik if you're going to graduate or at least attend Duke learn how to put together a fucking sentence. I mean, ideally that sentence would be more progressive, informed and enlightened than the one he stumbled through, but come on. Somewhere at Duke an English teacher just lost tenure.

There's a part of me that wonders whether Shavlik is simply lashing out at others to make up for his own difficult childhood. I am trying to imagine a middle school kid with the name Shavlik not getting mocked, wedgied and taunted mercilessly. I don't care if he was 6'10 at 11 years. If your first name has the work "lick" in it, things will be said. Oh, yes. Things will be said. So maybe Shavlik (which looks a little like shave lick, which gives you to bites at the taunting apple) is just getting out his aggression for prior insults. Or maybe he's frustrated that a gay Brit was able to average 6.2 points per game in the oh-so macho NBA, while he (Randolph) struggles to score 3 points a game for a decimated, truly inept Philly team.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Johns can rest easy

Knowing that I represent no threat.

Inspired by the Johns exhibit at the National Gallery, I went to an art store plunked down 40 bucks and got a bunch of paint, two brushes and some canvasses and canvass boards. What I didn't get, and don't have is any ability. And yet, it's still pretty pleasant. Posted below is my first painting ever. It's bad. I realize that. I think I need to mix the paints more to get a less "primary" looking set of colors. Oh, and you know learning technique could also be good. That said, it was oddly pleasant to sit hunched over my little master work.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Well Said

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination." - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

A quote I got from Evin.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Jasper Johns


If you're in the DC metroplex do yourself a favor and go see the Jasper Johns' exhibit. Ann, Ashelely and I went yesterday. It's great stuff. I'll try to write more about the exhibit, and would be happy to respond to any emails about it, ie more personal than this. But for me, it's rare that I see an exhibit that makes me chuckle let alone laugh out loud. This exhibit was fantastic, pulling together a bunch of pieces from Johns first 10 years. They focused a lot on his target works, his colors (yellow, red and blue) his devices, and his fascination with mapping and depicting the body. But as you walk through the exhibit you watch Johns begin to deconstruct his own work, and tease himself. After doing numerous targets and no doubt hearing people explain that they could do that, or when would he expand his vision, Johns assembled a DIY kit. The piece was a line drawing of his iconic target, and a set of three small Crayola style paint cups -- red, yellow, blue. It's like he was saying, fine if you think you can do this, please do. He's taking modern art and making it a coloring book, but without a touch of anger, arrogance and condescension. He even has a line on the painting where he's signed the painting and includes a space for his "collaborator" to sign the work.

I burst out laughing when I saw it. It's a perfect work of modern art. It's clearly an example of art as a series of choices. It's not that I couldn't do what he does. I can -- and he is encouraging that thought, if not that action. It's that I wouldn't have thought to make the target, let alone to deconstuct the art to the point where I divorced myself from the making of the art. In a New Yorker article a month or so ago, Johns was interviewed and explained that he views all art as a collaboration between the creator and the artist. It's a fairly well travelled idea, that art is about the interface between creation and observation, experience. But with Johns he's intentionally leaving the artwork unfinished (though you could make a pretty strong argument that the artwork is only finished when left uncompleted by his collaborator -- allowing any person a chance to envision what it would be like to work with and on a painting by a famous artist). By gently mocking the assertion that anyone can make modern art Johns is honoring his vision of art as collaboration. Johns work invites you to feel a part of it. It's art as conversation. When I walked through the rooms, I was filled with questions. I regressed to the age when an entire discussion could be conducted using the question "Why?" You remember those days, when you'd ask your parents a question and just keep lobbing "why" out there like an accusation of insufficient information. I don't want art to teach me through an entirely external voice and point of view. I want, and believe great art, can help me come to these conclusions on my own, and with my own additions to the work. Is it possible that I am giving Johns credit for ideas that he never conceived while painting these works? Of course, but art is collaboration, and together Johns and I came to these conclusions. I have to believe that your collaboration with Johns will yield different results. It sounds overly post modern and relativistic and entirely too soft, but I like to think of it a little like all those rap records where a couple of artists work together. You have to believe that Jay-Z featuring Pharell will be a functionally different work of art than Jay-Z featuring Missy Elliot. So it is with visual art.

Super Bowl Photos

Photos of the Super Bowl as oberserved at Henry's yesterday.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Endorse.

With the growing ubiquity of Peyton Manning and Jay-Z commercials, I've come to one obvious conclusion. Jay-Z should endorse Peyton Manning. But, you say, Peyton Manning isn't a product, and even if he were his brand would be tied to his own celebrity. To this I say, "Hey look over there."

Now that smarty pants is occupied staring at the side of the monitor, or inspecting the keyboard for defects I can return to my brilliant and unassailablly sound idea.

SETTING
Jay-Z faces the camera, medium distance. He leans against a stool, wears a designer suit. A matte black backdrop is the only other element in the frame.

"Growing up in the projects you learn to bet on a winner. You don't get many chances to be wrong. As a young man, I knew enough to bet on myself. I knew I was going to be legendary. I've made hit after hit, record after record. That's how you build a reputation in my game. Peyton Manning, he's taken hit after hit, and set record after record. Seeing him on tv every night it was endorse or be endorsed. It was him or me, and I'm not going to be shown up by some one whose white as chalk, and just as salty. "I'm from the projects you take opportunity, before someone takes it from you. That's why I'm proud to endorse Peyton brand DVDs, the finest DVDs. Whether it's breaking down defenses, or breaking down MCs, these DVDs deliver the finest performance -- like Peyton in the regular season."

What do you say.

On last Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Frank D. Hargrove, a Republican lawmaker in Virginia's House of Delegates, said that instead of seeking a formal apology from the commonwealth for slavery, "black citizens should get over it." Hargrove also reportedly wondered how far such apologies should go. "Are we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ?"

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Old Favorites

I've been enjoying my new fancy external hard drive. It's allowed me to take all the files off of an older computer I had been keeping in my closet. So now I have all my photos and music from the past 5 years. I've been using Picasa to edit and upload some photos as I find them. You can go here and find photos I took in previous iterations of my life. Check out the photos in the Arches and Mt. Rainier collections as well. I'm particularly proud of those.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

You know you get a goalie, right?

Did someone tell Thailand that you get to have a goalie in hockey?

Kazakhstan beat Thailand in hockey pool play 52-1. That's kind of a dick move, to beat a team by 51 goals. It's not like a 15-1 drubbing would have been less resounding. Were the Kazakhstanis playing for fantasy points? Were they recruited to play by Spurrier? Granted it's not like Thailand is known for its ice. I mean, hell, Thai Iced Tea is about the only time I associate ice and Thailand.

I don't know much about hockey, but given that a normal sized person accounts for like 80% of the total area of the goal, shouldn't sheer size mean that you'd block a few. Just random chance.

UPDATE:
Apparently two goalies did manage to stop 39 shots. That means there were 90 shots fired at the goal. I guess they stopped more than 40% of the shots. Oddly enough they did a better job of tending the net than the Kazakhstani goalie who allowed one goal on four shots. So maybe it's less about the Thai goalies. Let's go through a checklist, were the forwards given skates and sticks. Because those are both pretty important. Maybe instead of skates they were given stilettos, with 4 inch heels? Another concern, did the Thai center have his helmet facing open side out. Because it doesn't work nearly so well if you have it on backwards. Seriously, allowing 90 shots and only taking 4. Do you figure they were aware that you can take the puck away. Or were they used to playing some variation of flag-hockey where you have to grab the flag upon which time the offensive player gives you the puck. Were they starting John Mark Karr?

UPDATE II
===
Shamik points out that maybe the progeny of Yule Brenner wouldn't make the best hockey squad. However it would equip them well for discussing the scoring in the game.

Hockey player to reporter: "First they scored a goal. Et cetera. Et cetera . Et cetera."

UPDATE III
====
I have been thinking more about this and have some suggestions. At some point, say when you're losing by 20 goals, don't you figure the coach has to start thinking of silly plays. I mean Jesus, you're getting killed, you gotta do something.

1) I'd line 3 or 4 players around the crease, a la soccer players during free kicks. Clearly covering their junk.
2) Give the goalie two sticks.
3) Take the goalies big catching glove and give it to a player whose only job is to go around crazily skating and screaming in either Thai or Kazakhstani "I am lobster man."
4) Try the wedge play from Mighty Ducks
5) Hell, try the picket fence from Hoosiers.
6) Give one player an acetelyne torch to melt the ice immediately around the crease.
7) Call in a bomb threat
8) Start heckling their players "BOOORR - AAAA - TTT. BOOORR - AAAA - TTT."
9) Come out for the second period dressed like Disney Characters and try to convince the Kazaks that they are interrupting your performance of Disney on Ice.
10) Take out the little lightbulb in the red light that signals goals.
11) Whenever a Thai player gets the puck have him sprinkle rock salt all around himself as he moves, slowing down the opposition.

Who said this...

"The truth is more important than the facts."

a) Frank Lloyd Wright
b) Stephen Colbert
c) Hunter S. Thompson
d) Yogi Berra


ANSWER

(a). How about that?!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Colbert Explains the President's Health Care Plan

"It's so simple. Most people who couldn’t afford health insurance also are too poor to owe taxes. But...if you give them a deduction from their taxes they don’t owe, they can use the money they're not getting back from what they haven't given to buy the health care they can't afford."