29 Feb 2008, 6:25am
On the Peace Path Personal Growth Ponderings
Comments Off on Resolutions 2006 Revisited

Resolutions 2006 Revisited

I started out revisiting the first 4 of 9 of the 2006 resolutions. Here are the last ones in check up.

  • 5. Get informed about vegetarianism. That’s progressed a little into reading of vegan, and moderated as well. I can see the cause and effect of diet and how I feel. I watch to not overcarb, oversugar and see that I feel better when I eat more greens and take vitamins and glucosamine.
  • 6. Read about weight training. Resolution still dormant. Although I do have the books… somewhere on those shelves…
  • 7. Sidestep of moralistic paradigm of Right and Wrong. Further progress along that continuum. I’m still more reactive than I’d like to be.
  • 8. Let myself be amused and realize I am in a state of choice. A good touchstone still.
  • 9. More income. Meh, well, to that end, less expenses over the year. Got rid of 2nd mortgage. Got one home phone instead of 2 cell phones. Cut back on some kinds of spending for clothes, gas, vacation. Could use a faster melting remaining mortgage. March will set out the whole job search thing anew.

I’d like to flesh out #7 more.

I want to understand how someone else sees, but there is always an asterisks of not wanting to go backward and internalize all the petty village pouts of them and us and partisanship. Life is after all, if inherently anything, inherently absurd. It doesn’t pay to get humorless about How Things Are. At the same time I don’t want knee-jerk emotional detach because emotions are how memories and bonds are formed. Do I want to balance, but more to the disengaged end? High reactions can be comic. I want to hold to that sense of cosmic comedy.

It’s more useful to think of moral or “objective” value judgement in terms of itch scratched. Is something something enjoyed more or less? engaging more of less? Does it meet needs where someone is at? When there is a moralistic hierarchical power term of superior, that’s a filter that I can understand as someone else’s in a similar academic way as I understand the bridle of a camel. A bit abstract but functional.

I find the word better amusing. It’s a flag word for opinion and a mark on the spatterchart of relativity. Yes, there is more skill still, to a certain aesthetic goal. One image can be more developed for clarity, simplicity, composition, reflecting what the eye sees and mind wants to see, but that’s at its base a match to aesthetic. I don’t think that’s a surface semantic difference but a world view deep structure. Is it better in meeting needs. Whose needs? Any cluttered frenetic excitement cover of a fashion magazine says there is another way to appeal as better.

I want to continue increasing in body-awareness, mind-awareness, other-awareness, continue developing skills in language, verbal and non-verbal. I resolve to listen more fully, giving more clear feedback that someone is heard without straying too far into mirroring affirmations without adding new data to make it a dialogue.

Falling from these naturally is health thru clarity of being which is the overarching goal.

A new dynamic seems to have shaken out. I’m more self-reliant and self-assured rather than busily self-defeating. Part of this is from doing inner work to break momentum of overcorrection and living tensely in a moral world which needs my judging of each thing.

On a deep level, I’m failing to care. There’s a widening swathe of things which do not matter. I used to be concerned about this as a disengagement is a hallmark of depression, but it also is a sign of regrouping and refocusing energy on priorities. It’s not that I don’t care about anything or anyone but who and what and what that means is shifting.

For instance, there is no right or wrong way to buy orange juice. Price or brand or amount of nutrition, differences level out in the grand scheme of thing. To buy cheap, encourages undercutting farmers. To buy high is rewarding corporate use of advertizing schemes and large profit margin probably not to the farmer. To make oneself culpable for each minutiae would leave no energy for the bigger picture.

If I live on applesauce for 2 weeks, there may be outcomes but there may not. Long term that’s small stuff that isn’t worth dwelling in knots over.

I don’t care so much what others think of me. Sometimes I try but I seem to have finally broken the worn out panic button that I invested 25 years or so tweaking. Good riddance to old buttons.

Not that I want to be closed. Heaving heap! if so I may become set in my ways. I find I’ve pruned out of my life the emotional investment in buds that never become leaves or flowers. I’ve been clearing back the overgrown and untended and starting new plans and plantings over the year. The same process will continue thru 2008.

Quote: “Life is always walking up to us and saying, Come on in, the living’s fine, and what do we do? Back off and take its picture.” – Russell (Wayne) Baker

28 Feb 2008, 10:40pm
Housekeeping FYIs
4 comments

Quickie Update

I wrote a few post-dated posts for while I’m away a few days. but the new version of WP counts down to 8 minutes before posting then stops. It lists items as posted but doesn’t display to you. Huh. Glitch.

Or silver lining, I inadvertently am getting things done in advance.

Guess that means I’ll be on hiatus til Sunday or Monday. My food blog however still autoposts. (Go figure.)

Pics of the Factory Reading are here. Full diverse night. 12 or 16 people didn’t miss it. To put it one way. I think it was pretty enjoyed overall.

Gotta catch some sleep before it’s out of stock –

28 Feb 2008, 2:01pm
Divertions Light Photos
1 comment

Image Generators

The subjective sense of before meal camera-prayer ritual:

My creation

Flickr Labs has a lot of toys now, jigsaws trading cards, CD cover makers, warholizer…

Warholized Bri

It’s much fewer steps but less diversity than the generator by the Face of the Future people. At face transformer you can alter a face to different artist styles, generate to Mucha, Botticelli, Modigliani, El Greco, towards Manga or to different gender, age or ethnicity.

You can only do one step of transformation at a time, unless you save a file and feed back the results to loop thru again to layer effects. Ah-ha, let’s see

If Hubby were a black man drawn by Mucha…
transformblackmucha

elgrecobri
Or sitting for a portrait by El Greco.

modigliani_bri
Or as he is drawn by Modigliani.

boticellibri
Botticelli angel.

Wonder why him?

I did me a couple years ago with a bunch of effects.

This wasn’t what I had planned for this hour at allll.

Ah well, back to business.

Link: Utilikilt, a kilt + cargo pants.

Quote: “Fine writers should split hairs together, and sit side by side, like friendly apes, to pick the fleas from each others fur.” – Logan Pearsall Smith

27 Feb 2008, 9:23pm
Communication Divertions
2 comments

Sweaty Small Stuff, Laugh with Punctuation

Please, Cesar salad does not exist.

This comes from someone who periodically carried white board markers and chalk for work, but moonlit with them after hours to correct store chalk board spelling mistakes.

(I’m not doing that anymore.)


You Are a Little Anal Retentive

Okay, so you’re occasionally uptight, but it’s not like you fill your day with little OCD rituals.
You just like to exercise a little control over your life, and that’s usually a good thing.
As long as you limit your anal retentive ways to your own behavior, you’re not annoying anyone.
Deep down, most people are exactly like you.

Misspellings aren’t like punctuation. Punctuation can try to codify inflection of voice. I suppose mispellings are making the language more phonetic. But it feels like different.

Punctuation mistakes (or “mistakes”) might be more fun to find in the wild than corralled all in blogs, but still, if the timing, light mood feels right… check out the blog of unnecessary quotations marks or apostrophe abuse.

Examples?

Caution “Slippery” When Wet
“God” bless America.

:) (I like the skepticism in those.)

I’ve seen Ladie’s Bathroom around here and there. Ah, literacy.

Stepping back tho, for the evolution of a language, an apostrophe is an eye color gene. Survival does not depend on it.

The non-conventional use could be part of a long term language trend to simplify, like night and nite. (Or maybe that’s overly generous. Can one be overly generous?)

If a store’s hand-lettered sign mixes up sport’s drink’s $1.49 and sport drinks, $1.49, the emotional content is the same.

Maybe the writer meant that drink’s as a short version of the drink, which is used by various sports, possess the price of $1.49. It’s a kind of logic.

Or it’s a typo type of thing. If you say to the writer, that apostrophe is “wrong” the person may reply with a shrug. Where’s your cape, editing crusader? Why do you feel a need to go around correcting strangers, informing them of Wrong. There’s no ambiguity of intended meaning. What are you TM2? (Ok, so trouble maker trademarked is an unlikely retort.)

What about the quotation marks? A quotation mark even has a hand gesture. It’s a fuller part of speech and expression. Quotation marks are into aesthetics, clarity.

Quotation marks are more eager, emphatic. They are trying. They put more of themselves out there more than a little functional apostrophe does.

You say to the writers of a sign that they have done the quotation mark “wrong” and it’s as if they want to tell you, oh-oh-but-but-see-this-part-is-reeeeeaally-important.

How else do you get spoken word stress into printing when you are someone who doesn’t usually write but needs to for some instrumental purpose? Quote it. Quotes are interchangeable with italics in dialogue. Quoted words are stressed words, showing emphasis. We know that. You can’t do handwriting in italics very readily. If you write bigger for it to be louder, it doesn’t look even and orderly. Quotation marks are practical, and funny.

“Delicious” Mulled Wine.

Is there a footnote with sources I can get some verification of the opinion?

It’s fun to brainstorm what they don’t intend.

Jewelry “Gorgeous and Affordable”

See how powerful those little squigs of ink are in being part of the message? The intended effect of sophisticated quality is counteracted by punctuation. It mis-cues.

Why embarrass the quotes? For layman (i.e. non-editors, non-teachers) quotation marks are already sensitive. They are a reaction to being told don’t use bold or all caps or underlining because those look harsh or too extreme or uneducated. People get that bold all caps is shouting. Quotation marks are more civil than an apostrophe that is more of a makeshift syntactical screwdriver as doorstop.

To correct takes the floor to point out something not central and to say, I’m appropriating this communication to make a meta-point on a different subject. There’s a power dynamic there that isn’t there when you overlook some aspects to see the main thrust of what someone tries to say.

We know that by using the quotes, the person making the sign wants to inflect the voice to say something louder and longer, but the punctuation has got that other use of hearsay, or, I’m word-for-word relating what the person said, whose name I’m attributing this to, but I wash my hands of these words.

It’s like life in quotations, anything can be excused from personal culpability if you put quotes around it or call it in-joke or satire. On the BBC the reporters were having a merry time at Christmas over a song with “bad language” in it. In the name of reporting on the scandalous song, they could use these words, over and over, because they weren’t “really” “saying them”, but just “citing” them.

And yes, I’m using quotation marks like that on purpose.

Ah, the amusing headspaces of words.

Have I thoroughly thrashed the humor out of that yet…?

Nope, it’s still funny to me.

Quote: “Blaming others for how we feel is like falling asleep out in the sun and blaming the sun for our sunburn.” – Diane, a new blogger on the block

26 Feb 2008, 8:59pm
Ottawa Poets
4 comments

CBC Poetry Faceoff 7, Ottawa

Alan Neal

The CBC Poetry Faceoff was Feb 25 in Ottawa. The show will be aired on Bandwidth on Saturday but a full room at 4th stage NAC got to see the poetry competition live with Alan Neal hosting in his famous velvet suit, this year topped up with CBC’s answer to the Hawaiian shirt. Here he is with a representative from Sage Youth, the literacy group that door proceeds went to. They offer free tutoring for youth at risk, ages 5-18, in homeless shelters and community centers. Their clientele are kids in challenging circumstances, such as new immigrants and kids with learning disabilities. They offer a low tutor student ratio.

There was a decent-sized crowd. This photo from intermission catches about 1/3 of the enthusiastic room. People were asked to do the drumroll on the table since the drumroll was cut due to CBC cutbacks. 😉

There were swag bags of CBC merch for questions on lyrics about heat and trivia questions such as who is Canada’s Poet Laureate a) George Bowering, b) Dennis Lee, c) John Steffler or d) Margaret Atwood.

Which children’s show was bpNichol a writer? a) Sesame Street b) the Muppet Show or c) Fraggle Rock.

There was also practice cheering and snare drum effects.

crowd at intermission

At halftime, while votes were counted, Oni gave a quick update on her poetry travels.

Oni Rusty
Rusty performed a poem on Icarus, the real story and how Daedalus reported it wrong. His feathers did melt off, each feather a poem taken too high, and he did fall, but he didn’t die. He fell onto the backs of other people who fly, who saved him from falling all the way, with their own feathers supported him to fly another day. With community.

The outgoing Queen
The turning over of the crown from last year’s reigning Queen, Q the Romantic Revolutionary.

The poets to represent Ottawa are more of a team themselves than competitors. Those who were vying to go to the provincial level competition were to be: Danielle K.L. Grégoire, Free Will, Stachen Frederick, Michelle Wardman and Ian Keteku, a.k.a. Emcee E. Frederick became ill the morning of the competition so CBC producers called on Capital Slam poet Nathanael Larochette to fill-in.

While the other 4 got their prompt 2 weeks in advance, Larochette had to compose and perform for broadcast a poem on the subject of “heat” within 12 hours. He was up for it, although he said when he got the call, had he been awake, he might have thought twice. But there is just doing your best. You don’t have time to listen to the can’t-do-it voices in your head. You have to just keep going.

Each poet had quite a different take on heat.

Free Will Free Will interpreted it as turning up the heat to make a political revolution by 2010. “One revolutionary gone is not a revolution dead”. He incited change of the corrupted systemic oppression of natives by whites and to overturn government “scum” who should roast in hell. The 18-year old has a new CD for sale of his slam poetry. Last year he won the spoken word competition and represented Ottawa at the National Festival of the Spoken Word 2007 in Halifax.

Emcee E

Ian Keteku, a.k.a. Emcee E twisted the tone in the room 180 degrees. He’s a journalist and the founder of the Hip Hop Initiative which seeks to destroy preconceived notions about hip-hop culture and show how spoken word is a tradition of oral culture not urban decay. He was a semi-finalist for the past three years on Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister competition.

He opened his time at the mic by saying: “I don’t have a poem. I have a problem. I just got laid off of my job as dragon slayer.” He went thru how hard it is to find damsels to save this days, women being so self-reliant and dragons so rare. He spun in a little politics and some comic twists of relationships of falling into a slow moment into someone else’s pure beauty where she “pierces the heart/ like a good book/ like the English patient” (which got ripples of laughs) “but no time for this I’m freezing my ass off”. When he did find a dragon, they roasted marshmallows and just chilled together. He recommended him some cream for those dry scales.

Michelle Wardman
Michelle Wardman (seen here pre-formance as trying to extract herself from saying she is a tree hugger, literally). Asked what kind of trees she likes to hug she said “I like the big ones.” Blushing madly she tried to correct herself saying she knows the theme is hot but she didn’t mean it like that. She likes old ones. Neal then said, and we’re not going to get it any safer for radio from here. Next question.

When performing she opened up by singing and her take on heat was the crazy cotton candy throbbing member love where you don’t even care anymore if the poem you write is any good or not. She got a rousing cheer from the audience for her piece too.

Danielle K.L. Grégoire
Danielle Grégoire took her cue of “heat” to be literal, global warming and homelessness in -40 degrees before windchill where you skin freezes in under a minute and why don’t we care about the people right here any more than the pigeons. When we think globally do we forget what is right here. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying we should pollute but a few degrees warmer on the streets where people sleep…And she related the story of Ben, a homeless man who asked for a blanket, and would it be too much to ask, for a pillow too. And his eye pop when she actually came back with them and gave him them. She talked about resilience of species and how they adapt, how monkeys stranded on a Mexican island became diving monkeys to survive until they became a tourist attraction, and obese beggars but ate fruit that kept their diabetes in check. And if global warming happens, animals will adapt, people will adapt, because there is resiliency.

Nathanael Larochette
Nathanael Larochette, the late entrant took the idea of heat as heat as hate. One person who “sets afire everything in her path” when the “only heat in her life is hate.” The poem took us on a magic ride (when with a single clap the audience opted in on the ride) to see the ripple effect of anger and our interconnectedness, how person to person, short fuses are transmitted. Giving a finger in traffic make someone else curse at a clerk, makes someone short with their kid, makes them nervous and distracted and walking into traffic among drivers preoccupied, caught in keeping alive their anger of argument from the night before. It was concrete and illustrative as Grégoire’s. Could have heard a pin drop as he read and when he won, he got a standing ovation.

Nathanael Larochette
The crowning of the new king for 2008. His poem will be on the CD anthology of the best from each Canadian city competing.

[Cross-posted at OPN]

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