5th Dec. 2008 | 07:20 pm
12th Oct. 2008 | 10:52 pm
location: Laramie, WY
sounds: We Used to Be Friends - The Dandy Warhols
This MeFi post gave me the push to finally compose a response: Remembering Matthew Shepard | MetaFilter.
( long thoughts hereCollapse )
17th Sep. 2008 | 12:45 am
( go see the very vertical poemCollapse )
14th Sep. 2008 | 12:15 am
sounds: Elephant Gun - Beirut
I feel like a moron. A moron and a plagiarist. The folder this was in on my computer contains the poems I wrote and the poems I brought in to class as inspiration. Evidently I can't tell the difference. I did do several poems with JanusNode for class and for fun that semester. Just not this one. Here's the link to the page I found this poem on: JanusNode: Poems From The Unknown Unknowing
[The following text was heavily assisted by JanusNode. It was created on a whim as a 'proof of concept', in response to a call from http://www.instantnovelist.com/ for a poem about balance (but never actually submitted, since it turned out that they only accept entries from AOL members!). The four step process used to create it can be used to try to produce a poem about any topic at all. The first step is to gather together a bunch of texts about the chosen topic. In this case, the texts were taken from the WWW, using a search engine search on 'balance'. More carefully selected inputs texts can deliver better results. The second step is to create a Markov file of the texts gathered in step 1. The third step is to chain the Markov file from step 2, and (optionally) other selected Markov files. In this case, pre-existing Markov files on the war in Kosovo and the highschool murders in Colorado were selected in the hopes they would resonate in an interesting manner with the texts on balance. Finally, interesting lines from the output are selected, and the resultant (rather short) text is Markov-chained again. Text culled from this output can be used to make the final product. In this case, that selection was eecummingsfied, and then edited by a human being to produce the final text. Although the final text reflects substantial human intervention by editing, the title, general themes, and the structure of most of the individual lines here (including the fine phrase 'when emotions have a disordered bullet...') are all JanusNode's own work.]
The Stabilizing Effects of Perception.
Let your ears hear only
what does not
destroy the world.
When emotions have
a disordered bullet,
I believe in balance.
not achieved by soldiers
measuring out the world
in machined straight lines
with steady gaze and goals.
not an hour
with your checkbook,
not an hour
spent casually shooting
found in wild experience;
from letting our bodies go forth,
shifting on uneven surfaces;
forging their own crooked paths.
Let the world scream;
Let the disordered bullets rain
on lockers and pews;
Let the wild vertigo
Let your eyes see only
what does not
destroy the world.
21st Jun. 2008 | 10:51 am
There's vocation and then there's avocation. Rather than thinking of avocation as a "hobby," I like the definition that describes it as a "calling." I think it's perfectly reasonable desire to want to have a job that uses skills that you enjoy and have a talent for. Yes, the world needs clerks and janitors, but having some form of creativity and personal expression in a job gives you motivation for pride in craftsmanship and a genuine joy in your field. As long as you're dedicating a lot of time and energy to something, you may as well enjoy it and know that it uses the parts of you that are the strongest and most vibrant.
16th Jun. 2008 | 10:16 pm
location: Jackson, MN
Thursday Grandma was diagnosed with a bladder infection, which affected her health and mood significantly. Once her antibiotics started working and the infection started to retreat, she was more mentally and emotionally together.
The stroke/TIAs affected her vocabulary, so communication with her is an interesting experience. We can tell that she knows what she is talking about and is not confused about what she is saying or who any of us are. However, the words come out pretty jumbled sometimes, so it takes patience and time to decode what she is saying. Friday she started telling Mom (Diane) and my aunt Carolyn that they were good kids. Then she proceeded to tell stories about the times that her three daughters were troublesome. She started with the time that Marion, the oldest, climbed to the top of the windmill (she was two, Grandma was pregnant with Mom and Carolyn was still a baby) and an incident when the three of them ruined a 25 pound sack of sugar. We were all laughing in her room that morning after hearing those stories.
Grandma's condition varies based on the time of day and how tired she is. When my cousins and their children, Bennett and Cate, came down to visit on Saturday and Sunday morning, Grandma was in high spirits but pretty exhausted after our short visits in the hospital. She was especially happy to see Bennett and Cate. Bennett was especially kind and sweet, making sure to give Grandma several hugs and letting her know that he loves her. My uncle Roger let them pick flowers from his garden to give to her, and those flowers and some irises Roger cut earlier have brought her much joy. She has also enjoyed the cards people have sent, asking us to bring her magnifying glass so she could see them more clearly. We have also relayed all or your kind thoughts and wishes to her, and she is grateful and glad to hear of them.
Grandma has not felt like eating much. She is not refusing to eat, she just has trouble swallowing — saying that something is wrong with her innards that makes it painful to swallow and also makes her afraid of stomach upset. She tries to eat as much as she can, saying that the nurses are so nice and the food is good, but she can't eat as much as she is given.
My mom and aunt are sort of pessimists, so they have been certain several times that my Grandmother has said she wants to die and is trying to starve herself to death. I don't believe either is true. Grandma has said that she wishes that she had died quickly rather than having deteriorating health, but she is the type who just deals with what she is given with the resources that she has. While she was confused from the infection she was pretty pessimistic, but since then she has her same demeanor, mood, and sense of humor that has been her normal state as long as I've known her. My mom and aunt are very stressed out right now, though, and understandably so. I just wish they wouldn't stress themselves out more on top of this already tough situation.
Grandma has repeated many times that she has lived a long and wonderful life and that she feels especially lucky to have been able to know her great-grandchildren, Cate and Bennett. It moves me to tears (with a smile) when she says these things. Thursday evening Grandma asked me to find a poem to read to her. With Google's help we finally found the right quote. She told me it helped her when I read it to her. I think it's beautiful.
Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life,
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence
The bliss of growth
The glory of action
The splendor of beauty.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today well lived makes every yesterday
A dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day!
Such is the salutation of the dawn.
— Kālidāsa, “Salutation to the Dawn”
25th May. 2008 | 10:16 am
|What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)|
Western is kind of neutral, but not quite since it's still possible to tell where you`re from. So you might not actually be from the West (but you probably are). If you really want to sound "neutral," learn how to say "stock" and "stalk" differently.
|Click Here to Take This Quiz|
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.
31st Mar. 2008 | 01:09 pm
— The Culture of Terrorism, 1998 Noam Chomsky
[context: Four Freedoms, Fifth Freedom @ Wikipedia]
29th Mar. 2008 | 01:09 am
Because I'm a nerd, I've decided to do a Wyoming escalator census. Watch for updates here.
28th Mar. 2008 | 01:23 am
- Lord Kinbote, as part of this discussion: There are no Escalators in Wyoming. | MetaFilter
22nd Mar. 2008 | 11:06 pm
In honor of this fantastic (and even more improbable than Christmas in terms of miraculous events) holiday, I am planning on watching Jesus Christ Superstar followed by Shaun of the Dead. And maybe Star Wars (since it's hdgotham's tradition and I want to see the original trilogy a second time).
My family, in honor of Wyoming and Passover and not at all as a questionable bonus religious cannibalism ritual, is having leg of lamb for lunch. Mmmmmmm lamb.
20th Mar. 2008 | 10:58 am
sounds: Siamese Triplets - Colcannon
look at the "Customers Who Bought Items Like This Also Bought" as well as the customer images and reviews.
20th Mar. 2008 | 10:16 am
sounds: Skipper - Stark Effect
17th Mar. 2008 | 01:39 am
14th Mar. 2008 | 01:51 pm
A Taste of Colombia Rolls Through New York’s Streets - New York Times
7th Mar. 2008 | 03:26 am
This makes the state of America especially heartbreaking. Things been screwed up in ways beyond what I ever imagined was possible — in both scale and diversity. Worse than that, massive objections to major, obvious, and preventable fuckups did not stop those in power from proceeding anyway. And I have used my hope and idealism as fuel to keep voting and conversing with others and voicing my opinion to those in power. It feels that this, too, has had all the impact of pissing in the sea.
I feel so incredibly powerless right now, especially politically, at a time when my vote is actually weighted due to an alignment of statistical improbability and timing. For the only time in my life, registered as a Democratic voter in Wyoming in a system that still uses caucuses and an Electoral College, my opinion on the Presidential election counts. Things are that close and all the things aligned precisely enough. And it's terrible. Because, while maybe the media and the candidates are listening for these few days, in the end the caucus is non-binding and so whatever I say can be ignored anyway. And in the winner-takes-all electoral system Wyoming is overwhelmingly Republican. Meaning that the one time my opinion makes a whit of difference in a Presidential election, it's just a suggestion and even crueler because that tantalizing idea of having my vote, for once, have equivalent value to someone's vote in Iowa or Florida or Ohio . . .
I want so much to believe that an individual has power in a vote, but that only works if lots of people take the time, thought, and effort to make their vote as well. It also depends on the system not being rigged and bizarrely complex.
I want so much to use this idealism and hope to make life better for more people than just me. Taking care of oneself is survival. Taking care of oneself and helping others do the same for themselves . . . creating something positive that goes beyond replacing what one has consumed . . . this is something I find great value in. I am so lucky to have what I have in my life, and I am so grateful and so sad because things are still hard and others don't have what I have been lucky enough to receive. And I think that government exists to serve the needs of its people, and being involved in politics will help it more effectively meet the needs of myself and others.
And every time since I have been able to vote that I have hoped and tried and participated
it breaks my heart again.
23rd Feb. 2008 | 01:40 pm
» ADHD Computer Program Improves Attention - Psych Central News
So I've added the Who Has The Biggest Brain? Facebook application (link to application page: Facebook | Who Has The Biggest Brain?).
I'm also considering getting a Nintendo DS or DS Lite so I can get BrainAge, Big Brain Academy, and/or other games that help increase working memory skills (and Mario Kart, because it's just fun).
19th Feb. 2008 | 12:20 am
mood: feeling the hope and optimism die minute by minute
NPR's coverage (really good coverage of plagiarism and political speeches in general):
Democratic Candidates Have a War of Words
Overview with links to video of the speeches discussed (from the Times Online in the UK):
Hillary Clinton hits Barack Obama with plagiarism allegation - Times
This editorial references other instances of "recycled" speech elements in political
speeches, as well as embedding YouTube clips of the "Just Words" passage:
US Elections - Times Online - WBLG: Words matter - but they're not
Warning: Politics may induce slight nausea and disillusionment. My personal remedy is muppets:
Muppets - Mahna
12th Feb. 2008 | 09:54 pm
It makes me grumpy when members of Congress skip votes. (Although not showing up is Barbara Cubin's finest quality.)
I'm really ticked off about what the campaign for president has turned into. It started way too early. It has been impacted way too much by empty hype and cosmetics. The media, even PBS and NPR, is covering it like a sporting event. Actual positions and plans are being ignored or completely left out.
Is it me, or is the presidential election becoming more shallow than the average reality show?
Politics are starting to make me want to cry myself to sleep.
28th Jan. 2008 | 12:16 pm
28th Jan. 2008 | 11:54 am
25th Jan. 2008 | 12:58 am
I had this big feeling that the best was yet to come for Heath Ledger, so his death seems like some cruel anti-climax. And his death has the tragedy of losing a decent person, father, and member of society. Whether the loss is of a famous person or of any person in any community, it always leaves a vacancy that feels like a wound.
2nd Jan. 2008 | 10:12 pm
Sometimes motivation comes from fear, or avoidance of pain, or one of those types of things. Sometimes motivation comes from interest and excitement. Frequently, there's a mixture of all sorts of pains and pleasures that create motivation.
Motivations can be intellectual or emotional. Both are important.
Attitude is the emotional side of motivation. It is an essential part of modulating motivation. Getting your reasoning and your feelings in step increases motivation. Confusion and uncertainty use energy. If you can decrease or eliminate those elements, you can use that energy elsewhere -- maybe on achieving a goal.
2nd Jan. 2008 | 09:46 pm
Going to the Moon requires substantially more effort, so much that it takes lots of work by lots of people to make it possible. But it is possible, with that work. If you personally cannot do all the work yourself, then you work to get the necessary help.
2nd Jan. 2008 | 09:41 pm
Helen Keller may not have been able to see with her eyes or hear with her ears, but she could still learn about her surroundings and communicate with the world. Nowadays, people who are similarly limited (or not) can less metaphorically and more literally get "impossible" senses. Getting the information is the goal, and hacking the method of delivery may be more complicated, but it's not less real.
Being creative with the definition of an ability can help with the creative solution to what was once considered a disability.
2nd Jan. 2008 | 09:24 pm
2nd Jan. 2008 | 09:22 pm
2nd Jan. 2008 | 09:18 pm
Just because someone has some sort of in-born ability or disability doesn't mean that they can't meet or exceed goals that require x ability with some creativity and hard work. Attitude is important so a person will put forth the energy that it takes to reach a goal, no matter how easy or hard that is for them.
Therefore, a person can be interested in finding out more about their talents or challenges while knowing that hard work and a good attitude are also essential to achieving anything.
[posted as a comment here: How to Change the World: How to Not Choke]