Monday, November 26, 2012

"Here are some rabbits throwing snowballs"

1. On Saturday I happened to eat dessert with an English Lord. He apologized on behalf of Britain for the shit that went down in Ireland/Northern Ireland. That really happened.

2. Yesterday I talked my mom into taking the train into NYC to see an exhibit of Beatrix Potter's picture letters at the Morgan Library and Museum. My mom hasn't taken the train into NYC in 25 years, but she loves Beatrix Potter. It was great.

Imagine getting a letter like this.
The Morgan Library

3. It was hard to get a picture of this billboard from the moving train, but I really liked it.


Just Once

Just once I knew what life was for.
In Boston, quite suddenly, I understood;
walked there along the Charles River,
watched the lights copying themselves,
all neoned and strobe-hearted, opening
their mouths as wide as opera singers;
counted the stars, my little campaigners,
my scar daisies, and knew that I walked my love
on the night green side of it and cried
my heart to the eastbound cars and cried
my heart to the westbound cars and took
my truth across a small humped bridge
and hurried my truth, the charm of it, home
and hoarded these constants into morning
only to find them gone.

- Anne Sexton

5. The second young woman who was injured in the train accident in Richmond, IN succumbed to her injuries last night and died. I did not know Lenore or Tracey, but I still feel their loss deeply. Today I touched to learn that Transylvania University, a rival of Earlham's in sports, hosted a blood drive in honor of the injured Earlham students. My memory of Transylvania is "blessing" the field  with the Quaker Army before our games - a procession with a large cross and holy water. We also put garlic in our goals to deter them. It seems fitting that they donate their blood to us. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Been in NY with family, sorry for not posting much. I'll try to catch up.

1. At my deceased grandparents' home, I went through a bunch of meticulously kept photo albums and snapped pictures on my iphone of some of the best shots. The best thing about the ones from the 60's and 70's is how they look like they could have been taken last week -  our fashions are rather repetitive. Also, many of them are square, framed, and faded - the original instagram.
Here are a few. If you're friends with my on facebook, you can see many more there.
My aunt in the 60's or 70's.

My dad, the Conscientious Objector, reading about Vietnam in the late 1960's.
My dad's family hosted exchange students a lot. My dad is still friends with Jan, the top guy, from Sweden. In the mid 60's he went to Sweden to visit him. This is Jan and his siblings.

My dad, Jan, and Jan's mother in Sweden 1966.

My dad's family and some friends, including my mom in the lower left hand picture.
My great great grandparents William and Marie-Louise.

3. I got to meet my sister's 8th grade class last week. Highlights:
- My sister plays music for them during "transition time." She plays the same ones every day, and she gets to pick the songs. She played Regina Spektor's "Fidelity" and all of the boys sang along. At the "better better better better, better better betttttttttterrrrr!" part they went nuts, each doing their own mimicry. It was one of the best things ever.
- They also danced Gangnam Style. 

4. Even if you don't usually read the poems I post, try reading this one.

Here's What Our Parents Never Taught Us
by Shinji Moon

You will stay up on your rooftop until sunlight peels away the husk of the moon,
chainsmoking cigarettes and reading Baudelaire, and
you will learn that you only ever want to fall in love with someone
who will stay up to watch the sun rise with you.

You will fall in love with train rides, and sooner or later you will
realize that nowhere seems like home anymore.

A woman will kiss you and you’ll think her lips are two petals
rubbing against your mouth.

You will not tell anyone that you liked it.
It’s okay.
It is beautiful to love humans in a world where love is a metaphor for lust.

You can leave if you want, with only your skin as a carry-on.

All you need is a twenty in your pocket and a bus ticket.
All you need is someone on the other end of the map, thinking about the supple
curves of your body, to guide you to a home that stretches out for miles
and miles on end.

You will lie to everyone you love.
They will love you anyways.

One day you’ll wake up and realize that you are too big for your own skin.

Don’t be afraid.

Your body is a house where the shutters blow in and out
against the windowpane.

You are a hurricane-prone area.
The glass will break through often.

But it’s okay. I promise.

a stranger once told you that the breeze
here is something worth writing poems about.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

High School Notes

My sketch books from High School are filled with what I called "notes." Most of these are from Earth Science.

5/9/04 Earth Science
"Oh Mrs. Farr, I'm gonna take your class next year."
"Oh no you're not."
Mrs. Farr was a terrible teacher, but at least she was a sassy pants. 
I distinctly remember Robbie asking if a dinosaur could have flown to other planets.

This is what I imagined it would look like.

Ayana wore these little beaded slippers that she was always slipping on and off under her desk.

"Mrs. Farr tells Jose to put on his shoes. 'Why? Half everybody back here ain't got no shoes!' See everyone silently slip their feet back into their shoes.
Earth Science was a painfully boring class. Everyone just lounged around while Mrs. Farr talked. This included removing your foot wear. Jose, however, went too far when he put his socked feet up on the desk. His getting spotted nearly ruined it for everyone.
Also pregnant classmate Dolly in the corner there.

"Ayana has sweet cough drops, everyone starts coughing."
Ayana had to share, since everyone suddenly had a cough. Those cough drops were fantastic.
Ice cream in the morning, french fries at lunch..."
Robbie was bouncing off the walls, and the teacher asked him what he'd eaten that day.
Jose was apparently opposed to all forms of clothing. By this point in the school year Mrs. Farr didn't even care.
And Dolly got pregnant-er.

Cinco De Mayo
You can't see it in this picture, but I made note that the boy in the upper left hand corner had a Mexican flag draped around his shoulders.
Took the time to color this note in.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Get Money!

1. Ms. Tia takes a dive.
My favorite parts:
- Her "last words" to her family include "Get money!"
- When they ask her how she's doing before the jump, and she said "Sweet baby Jesus, save me!"
- When they ask if she still wants to do it, and she says "I gotta, I paid the money!"

2. Put on some music. Play with these gifs for the rest of the day.

3. Photographer Jack Radcliffe took fantastic portraits of his daugher, Alison, throughout her whole life. Here's a few selections, but you should look at the whole project.

4. Taking the train. It's just the best. It's better than driving because you can do work, read, go on the computer, go to the bathroom without stopping the trip, and avoid traffic. It's better than the bus because you have legroom, and in my case of getting from Boston to New Ro, I don't have to go all the way into NYC and then back out. It's better than flying because of legroom and not having to hang out in the airport for forever, and it's better for the environment.
Also, you get to look into everybody's backyards, and see a wonderful art show of graffiti on every available wall and underpass.

5. On my last post, I received two comments from two ostensibly different anonymous individuals. Thanks, anonymous commenter(s). I already posted about the calming manatee a while back, but I had not yet seen the emergency compliment or the emergency puppy. Important resources for everyone to have bookmarked.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Some songs I've been into recently.

This list kept getting longer, so I provided a little information about each song. If you don't feel like listening to all of them, maybe my articulate descriptions will help you prioritize.

There is way more music where this came from, but I got tired at twelve.

Music Genre: Rap
What I Like About It: Lyrics
And my subconcious telling me stop it
This is an issue that you shouldn't get involved in
Don't even tweet, R.I.P Trayvon Martin
Don't wanna be that white dude, million man marchin'
Fighting for our freedom that my people stole
Don't wanna make all my white fans uncomfortable
But you don't even have a fuckin' song for radio
Why you out here talkin race, tryin' to save the fuckin' globe
Don't get involved with the causes in mind
White priveledge, white guilt, at the same damn time
So we just party like it's nineteen ninty nine
Celebrate the ignorance while these kids keep dying

Music Genre: Electronic/Dance
What I Like About It: the part at 1:51

Music Genre: Indie Pop
What I Like About It: the chorus
"I know you don't believe me"

Music Genre: Icelandic Indie Pop
What I Like About It: I honestly don't even know what he's saying. I just like the way it sounds.

Music Genre: Scottish Indie Folk
What I Like About It: It's got that build up and in unison chorus that feels like home.


Music Genre: Okay actually the only thing I knew about this song was that my sister loves it. I just looked it up and discovered that this dude won American Idol. Gwamps.
What I Like About It: Again, it's got that build up. I'm a sucker for build up. Also any song that makes Felisa pretend to play the spoons.

Music Genre: British Indie Folk
What I Like About It: It came up on a spotify radio station, and Natalie and I looked at each other, me with an "I love it!" face, and Natalie with a "What the hell is this?" face. Been listenin' to it since.

Music Genre: Scottish Folk
What I Like About It: The chorus at 2:36. Also, I wasn't kidding when I said a while back that I was considering only listening to music by people with Scottish accents. 

Music Genre: Scottish Indie Rock
What I Like About It: Scottish accents. Lyrics. The chorus.
I'm not ill, and you're not dead, doesn't that make us the perfect pair?


Music Genre: Indie Rock
What I Like About It: It's just so good.


Music Genre: Electronic Indie Pop
What I Like About It: It's just so catchy!
Music Genre: Indie Folk
What I Like About It: How many contemporary songs have a harmonica interlude?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Where Has November Gone?

"Kai" by Matt Small
2. There was a terrible accident at my alma mater this weekend. It's hard to be far away from the Earlham community at a time like this, but two things I am grateful for are:
- The love and light that I've seen being shared through social media.
- Getting to spend last night with some Earlhamites, brewing beer, eating pizza, and playing Settlers of Catan. 

3. Just in case you are not already aware, there is a guy (Brandon Stanton) who walks around NYC and takes pictures of interesting people. He then posts the pictures on tumblr and facebook, under the title Humans of New York. Not only are they great pictures, Stanton takes the time to ask his subjects a few questions, and shares a response with each picture, making the subjects even more, well, human. I've been following HONY for a couple of months now, and have been particularly grateful recently for his images of New Yorkers surviving, rebuilding, and helping each other out after Sandy. 
I asked her dad why she was carrying a candy bucket.
He said: "She's an optimist."


I awoke
this morning
in the gold light
turning this way
and that

thinking for
a moment
it was one
like any other.

the veil had gone
from my
darkened heart
I thought

it must have been the quiet
that filled my room,

it must have been
the first
easy rhythm
with which I breathed
myself to sleep,

it must have been
the prayer I said
speaking to the otherness
of the night.

I thought
this is the good day
you could
meet your love,

this is the black day
someone close
to you could die.

This is the day
you realize
how easily the thread
is broken
between this world
and the next

and I found myself
sitting up
in the quiet pathway
of light,

the tawny
close grained cedar
burning round
me like fire
and all the angels of this housely
heaven ascending
through the first
roof of light
the sun has made.

This is the bright home
in which I live,
this is where
I ask
my friends
to come,
this is where I want
to love all the things
it has taken me so long
to learn to love.

This is the temple
of my adult aloneness
and I belong
to that aloneness
as I belong to my life.

There is no house
like the house of belonging.

- David Whyte