Welcome Mat

A Holiday for the Christians and the Children

This is like when you (used to) go and pick up your developed film and photographs from the drugstore or the Fotomat and you truly didn't remember what you had on your rolls of film.  Often there's a forgotten gem.

Oh yeah, I forgot that I picked up my camera when the offspring was "helping" the grandfather open his Christmas/birthday gift DVD--something that she really wanted but got it for him on purpose. Eight-and-a-half-year-olds can be some of the most helpful critters ever invented.

Ithaca Sunrise

Pay Day



Seasonal Gibberish Since Forever

Build it Up - Tear it Down / Ride my Donkey into Town:
Riding the De-con/Re-con Pendulum

Finally, the long ride down is complete. We are officially at the bottom of this well. Solstice again. The slide from autumn to winter is a cyclical psychic deconstruction of all things built since the previous June. The philosophy is simple. We build up, we tear apart, we build it back up, we tear it down again. Each and every year. Time after time. These are our ways.

I strive to oscillate between the poles, anchors, and extremities. Building, producing, exploring, and nudging.  But, reserving just enough wherewithal to humbly tear it all down to barren nothingness. To quit and start over and over. Humility or stupidity, always outlier avoidant yet disaster prone.  That's where we live.

But then what? And now what? Well, this depends on what remains after the deconstructions. The remaining pieces are our new foundations and our next phase's building blocks. Sifting though this rubble is where we begin anew. Like finding one charred photograph after a traumatic house fire [ellipsis] in Port-au-Prince. Sand becomes glass during the reconstruction.

Our greatest of opportunities and freedoms lie in how we negotiate our new beginnings.  This is how we define ourselves in important ways in the upswing.

Building season has begun. Then we ride our donkeys into town.

"Build it Up - Tear it Down / Ride my Donkey into Town" from "Oceans" - 1997 This is the New America album by the Kingdom of Leisure.


Keep Your Chimp Hand Strong ('cuz chimpin' ain't easy)

I couldn't decide if the old dude in the fur jacket was some OG pimp or some OG chimp.  Actually I did decide (see title).  I don't know where you live (Berkeley or Brooklyn or Bethesda) but I have old dudes in fur jackets at the Panera Bread in my hood.  OG stagger is as fresh as Panera Bread bagel.

Yes, this is the best picture I could get.  Go criticize the government or something.


The Fifteenth of December (with three embedded links for you)

Here we are on another fifteenth of December.  Another day.  Another year.  Another bittersweet memory.  I am sitting in the waiting room of a Honda service depot awaiting the punchline to the joke, "how much is this going to cost?"  Not my car but I care for and about it for obvious reasons.  Cars, like people, age and the reliability-maintenance ratio becomes highly inefficient to society and owner.

Someone posed the question would I prefer for my grandmother to be alive even though she'd turn 89 today.  Honestly, that's not an easy question given all the factoring of health, financial resources, companionship, and quality of existence.  Dying at the age of 72 is, arguably, fairly young by modern standards if one has health, resource, companionship, and quality factors well balanced.  But who's to say when time is time? Selfishly, of course I wish she was alive.  But her life would probably be pretty miserable at this age.  She had a rough life.  Et cetera.


I hold the opinion that the age 89 is too damn old.  I have opinions.  The usefulness-to-burden/worry ratio is highly inefficient to society and family.  I may sound harsh but facts aplenty support this notion.  There are exceptions of course; people who live very useful, productive, healthy lives well into their geriatric years.  I know some people like this, aged like cheese or wine or whatever ages great.  But for the most part we use our science and technology to keep humans alive well past the comparable age where we would have put a loved canine or feline companion to a loving "sleep."  As many seniors have personally emphasized, the "golden years" aren't.

But this frank talk just makes me sound evil and mean.  And I'm not.  I can be a jerk but evil?  Mean?  Not inherently.  I can be coldly logical and pragmatic though.  And eighty-nine is too damn old, man!

I highly doubt that I will reach the age of 89.  Honestly, what the hell could I possibly be doing of any value at 89?  Sometimes I live frantically in the belief that I may not live another day/week/month/year/whatever.  And I'm only half of 89.  At this point, and historically, anything over about 65 has seemed unattainable, if not irresponsible.  I'm like Logan 3 watching my crystal color change (which has long run black).  I'm a runner.  Lastday was in 1987.

I've long repeated that I refuse to be a broken down sack of vulnerable, miserable human suffering.  Maybe when I get to a certain age I will reconsider.  Perhaps upon the end of my lease I can rent on a monthly basis.  Maybe I can exercise the option years.

OK, that's the end of the obligatory rant with regard to aging.  The next one is scheduled for March 12, 2011.

Anyway, today is the birthday of someone special and essential to me.  All we are is directly attributable to what we were given.  As always, I can never express enough gratitude.  Wish you were here.


It's December Twenty Ten (originally titled)

[cue music now]

I. It's December and I feel as if I'm starting a new season or a new video game life or something newish like the new car smell.  I tend to retreat* a bit in December given the cold, declining light, the snow, all the winter shopping mania, and other things. There are seasons, cycles, and we all sort of know what comes next.  I'm fairly predictable now (as I've always been).  I'm like autumn in a way.
*Didn't Joseph Stalin say something like, "it takes more courage to retreat than to advance" and Sarah Palin say something like, "never retreat, reload"?  Retreat can mean a couple of things, couldn't it?  You can get a manicure at a retreat.  You can have a focus group at a retreat.  You can get shot in the back in retreat.

II. Actually, nothing much to say as you can see with your own brain, I'm just doing what office people call "touching base" or "checking-in" or something trite but well-intended.  I haven't have anything to type lately. Hello. How are you?

Just reminding you that I am an artist; nothing more or less. Even I don't know what that means anymore.  I can only do what I do.  I can make things.  I actually enjoy making things.  I have to make things it turns out. But, unfortunately, I can't draw, tell you about f-stops, play the clarinet, or edit my own writing.  But as I shared with Lily, I have an idea.  No promises, no goals, just an idea.  And as long as I have an idea, I can be an artist.

Hopefully I have learned--or carved some space for--some patience and discipline.  I'd trade in a couple pints of "productivity" for a couple of ounces of "patience & discipline," thanks.  I think I'm going to leave "conceptual continuity" alone for this season.  Just.  Patience.  Discipline.  Some.



These are the three links I would have posted to the Facebooks if I had a the Facebooks account to currently post links to:
10 Fast Food Items That Don't Totally Suck - because sometimes fast food totally rules.

Why is Disney Hiding the Original "Tron"? - I never said I wasn't a geek.

Stoned Gays Watch the Victoria's Secret Show - some things are just perversely amusing.

Everything is a work in progress, nothing is predetermined.


the stills of MMX

These are the images picked by friends as their favorites from 2010. Thank you friends.

More here: [clicky]

Note: This is the last one of these annual "best of" thingies.


went like this:


Attic Day 2010

Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Todd: oh fuck!  is it attic day again?

Rickey: Get up in there and do some cleaning and reorganizing.
And, yes, I happen to be wearing this very Rabbit Ambulance hoodie today.
Yes, it's Attic Day, 2010.  It's the day set aside in the kingdom to go up in the mental, emotional, and philosophical attic and throw away the junky junk and make some space for the blingy new stuff.  And just in time for the very special holiday receiving stuff season.

Attic Day. What would I do if it wasn't for the Rickey? I wouldn't remember a damn thing.

Sigh. Eggs and toast. Give up the ghost.