Saturday, December 31, 2005
Are there more futile traditions than the New Year's Resolution? How many have you kept in your life? In previous years, I tried. I would make a deeply meaningful resolution, often keeping it to myself, but really being earnest about it. Never meant squat. Think about it, you pledge to wipe out this deeply rooted part of yourself, to grind smooth some groove you've been wearing into yourself for your whole life. Starting this arbitrary day. Talk about built to fail.
I closely observed an exception in 2005. My wife resolved to get more organized, and she did. She didn't become a paragon of order, but she made real progress, dragging me part of the way with her. Credit given where it is due.
I've given up on this approach for myself. I had given up last year, and so I made a trivial, fun resolution. Cause you think you could do that. I resolved to remember jokes. I don't remember jokes. I hear a joke, I laugh or don't, and its gone. I succeeded for maybe 3 months. I had like tripled my cache of jokes. By this December 31st, I've forgotten them all. I didn't resolve to save the world or fix my greatest flaw, just get better at something I suck at. Again, planned to fail.
So I'm working on a new strategy for this year. I have a recent success as a model. I decided it wouldn't hurt me to dress a little more nicely on occasion. I can decide that, but the groove, the habit, the vision of I have of who I am, it doesn't' give up easy. So I played dirty.
I have this pattern. I buy two pairs of jeans. I wear one of them almost every day until one or both wear out. I buy two pairs of jeans. Repeat. A few months ago it was time to buy two pairs of jeans again. I bought one pair of jeans, and one pair of kakis. One moment of strength set me up for months of virtue. I hate to shop. I'm always behind on laundry. I won't go buy another pair of pants till one wears out, and I won't do laundry often enough to keep clean alternatives to the kakis. I'm stuck. I wear them once or twice a week. I played to weakness, instead of relying on strength.
You see where I'm going. I'm trying to devise New Year's Resolutions based on this strategy. If suitable, I'll share them with you, once I've dreamed them up.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Gentry's Hammer To be good at something, you must first be bad at it.
Gentry's Scythe Everything that is not fundimental is a distraction.
Gentry's Anvil Fundimentals are simple and hard.
Last night I'm reading out loud and what I read was:
...a bitter winter wind from the northeast blew in a scattering of clowns...
Obviously it was written as "clouds," not "clowns."
Monday, December 26, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
One line that gets me every time I hear it. It comes from the track "Unsteady Things" on Independence Meal.
I prefer to give to those who commit to the asking
Technorati Tags: Alix Olson, spoken word
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Some of the neater information you get from from Site Meter is what the referring sites where that brought visitors to your page. Luke brought this to my attention when he remarked that he had seen a referrer to one of his posts was the result of a search, and that the search terms that brought the visitor to his blog were surprising. Another of our friends, Matt, suggested it would be fun to seed articles with terms just to see how many people might be searching for them. I'm doing that in this article with the phrase
remove tire tracks from skin
If you are reading this post and you were indeed brought here by a search that found that phrase, I hope you aren't too annoyed that there is no information here on how to remove tire tracks from skin. Grin along with us, eh ;-)
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Saturday, December 17, 2005
The Sci-Fi channel has a series that is a reimagining of the grand old series, Battlestar Galactica. I say "grand" because I was a fan of the original, in all its cheesy glory. I held off watching the new one for a long time, but I heard too much positive feedback to ignore it. When I finally checked it out, I loved it.
The new version is a much grittier, realistic show, and the characters are pretty real. There is a lot of exploration of the relationship between the civillian and military aspects of the fleet, and also inside the military itself. Good characters, good actors, good writing. So at lunch at Spuds on saturday I realized I was sitting there thinking about the power dynamics in Battlestar Galactica and what they might teach me about the power dynamics in my life.
From that masterpiec, "99 Red Balloons",
open up one eager eye
I heard this one in a Steve Owen song, though I know that its one of those phrases that has come down to us in the form of cultural heritage:
Tommorrow is a day that's promised to no man
The first Steve Owen song I heard has as part of its chorus:
The world is a tuxedo and I'm a pair of brown shoes
My fashion IQ is low, and I only recently learned that you don't wear brown shoes with black pants. I heard this at just the right time in my life for it to strike me :-)
Friday, December 16, 2005
This might be the most quoted part:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
This happened to me last night. I blinked hard a couple times, literally, returning to the "present moment" that my mind can deal with for more than a few seconds without going into a tailspin. 15 years later, my god. And I picked up the frozen blackberries Jae wanted for desert the next night, tonight, when we have company. And I walked back to my house, vivid in its warmth after the cold of outside, and my wife, my very favorite human, and I think about how poor we are for having to live our lives serially, frame by frame.
Monday, December 12, 2005
I admit, I want them to fill my water glass every few minutes. I drink a lot with meals. But the picking up this fork and the delivering of this spoon and the procession of little plates to go with the bread and the appetizer and the salad, give it a break already. It constantly interrupts the flow of conversation at the table, and makes me really uncomfortable. I feel like I should say, "Thank you," every time they perform one of these little interruptions, but like I said, it gives the evening this weird staccato flow. And if I ignore them, I feel rude.
I know, that's how it is supposed to work at these places. It's my hangup. Am I the only one who feels this way?
Saturday, December 10, 2005
My brother Luke introduced me to a great Internet radio station, Boot Liquor Radio. They played a song that I liked, " a Pair of Brown Shoes", by Steve Owen. I checked out the whold cd, the Turlock 2, at CDBaby It is a little hit or miss, but there are severel gems.
On the fun side are, "Close Enough to Shore", and "a Pair of Brown Shoes." On the somber but eerily cool side are "Like a Wedding Band" and " What Makes the World Go 'Round"
In Occam's Razor, "razor" both sounds cool and describes the law. The simplest explanation is the likeliest. That slices through so much crap. Can I come up with a name that has the same attributes?
How about, Gentry's Hammer. The law tries to pound into peoples' skulls a truth they don't want to accept.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Also, the Law itself needs to be more elegant. The "for a long time" is important for the meaning, but it reduces the impact of the language. Perhaps I need to break into Gentry's Laws.
1. To be good at something, you must first be bad at it.
2. You will be bad at it for a long time.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Friday, November 04, 2005
I do think I give value to society by just being a decent, productive individual. I have a job that allows me to pay my bills, not be a burden on anyone financially, and in the course of my work help other people get things done that they need done. I work at an Internet service provider, so I do my small part to make the Internet function. I feel pretty good about that. Overall, I think the Internet is helping make the world a little better place. It's not a job like a teacher or doctor where you concretely know you helped make peoples' lives better each day, though.
I saw something today, though, that boosts my feeling of credibility. You might be aware that in the cutting edge of philanthropy in recent years has been spreading of microcredit programs. Now there is Kiva. It is an Inernet enabled, almost peer-to-peer approach to microcredit. You can go to their website and choose a business to give a microloan to. Supposedly you get progress reports via email, and in theory you get paid pack, without interest. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm excited about it.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
The first of these 2 sights was early in the walk. I was walking south from Indian School on Washington, up the hill. At a particular spot, I was facing a window that was reflecting a tree that was across the street from it. The leaves of tree had turned yellow, and the setting sun was full on the tree. The window was a sheet a flame.
Right as I turned north on Constitution, there was a yard that had a kind of decorative grass or something that sent up these spikes with big cottony puffs on the end. Again the setting sun was full on them. Otherworldly.
Those were the delightful bits. When I reached the bottom of the hill, where Constitution and Carisle intersect, I almost saw, mostly heard, a bicyclist hit by a car. I saw his motionless body lying in the intersection, the cars stopping, the people gathering, cell phones out. I didn't actually see the collision, and there was already a crowd and even a doctor, so I didn't stop.
As I left the sidewalk to cut behind the Walgreens towards the park where I take a break on this walk, I saw a single shoe in the median. I might scribble something about that.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
We no longer break the dance to wrestle demons, golden skin against scaly hide. They, also, are diminished. What proof our we against syndrome, or chemical imballance? We jig and reel and two-step across this metallic plain, without interuption.
Perhaps, like you, we need only an aromatic salt scrub to shed our skin and be reborn a bright thing (but not too bright), and a yoga mat to revive once mighty thews, and an IRA to toss off the yoke of eternal service.
Till then we dance our unchanging dance with outworn formaility, though no one wonders, anymore, how many of us there are.
Author's comments: It amuses me. I'm not sure about the second paragraph. It might be weak. Should it be re-written? Cut entirely?
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Here is a little thing I'm fond of. I'm not sure whether it should be past or present tense.
Past tense tints it as a memory, maybe colors it with nostalgia.
You stood in a puddle, temporary mirror,
and were startled by your own beauty.
Birds waded by your ankles. When the wind carried away your hat,
you let it go, sailing into another life.
Present tense makes it more vigorous and vital:
You stand in a puddle, temporary mirror,
and are startled by your own beauty.
Birds wade by your ankles. When the wind carries away your hat,
you let it go, sailing into another life.
Interesting that the change in tense doesn't change the words in the last line, but has this significant change in its shades of meaning.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
If you like westerns in space, including opening bank robbery, six
shooters, anti-heros, chases, gun play, and revenge, and you think humor, martial arts and pretty people tossed in are OK, you will like "Serenity."
You know I'm a cult fan, so from a neutral and respectd critic, Ebert:
"I'm not sure the movie would have much appeal for non-sci-fi fans, but it has the rough edges and brawny energy of a good yarn, and it was made by and for people who can't get enough of this stuff. You know who you are."
I've seen it twice, and the two viewings were very different. The first time, much as you try to suspend your expectations, it was all about how true a continuation of the series it was. That is a very different way to see it than someone who has not seen the series. Also, the characters have a rough time, and frankly I care about these characters more than many actual people I know, so it was harrowing. We had planned to see it twice friday, but it was too intense.
Went back saturday. This time it was much more about the movie. It's damn good. I liked this line from a review:
"If you think the "Star Wars" prequels are a disease, then Serenity is the
Friday, September 30, 2005
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
"No Direction Home - Bob Dylan". Much of the best footage was of interviews. Here is one exchange as near as I can remember it.
Interviewer: "How many song writers who toil in the same vinyards of song as you, write protest songs?"
Interviewer: "You mean around 136, or do you mean precisely 136?"
Dylan: "Either 136 or 142."
There was this priceless bit, I think they were in France, and Dylan is in the car and while they are stopped somewhere these kids mob the car and stick their arms and heads in the window demanding his autograph. He says "No" a couple times and they keep persisting. Finaly he says, exasperated:
"You don't need my autograph. If you needed my autograph I'd give it to you."
He really didn't understand celebrity. Or maybe he understood it all too well.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Saturday, September 17, 2005
- ► 2010 (31)
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- ► 2007 (114)
- ► 2006 (108)
- Playing to Your Weakness
- Gentry's Hammer
- A Scattering of Clowns
- A Post About Strategy -- on that other blog
- Commit to the Asking
- Remove Tire Tracks From Skin
- Phrases that people search for
- Listen to a little something different
- Battlestar Galactica is bluring into my life
- Found a poem, Kipling's "If"
- Blogger Double Life
- Cigarettes and Musk
- Over attention at fancy restaurants
- This Cold -> It's and ill wind ...
- more about Gentry's Law
- ► October (6)
- ▼ December (17)