Posts from 2007

I’m Listening

It’s a fantastic sort of Friday: one where there’s a new Nine Inch Nails album to listen to all day long. Enjoy Year Zero, officially streaming on the World Wide Web in anticipation of its April 17 release.

(Yes, Virginia, it is possible to capture the files retrieved and played by that Flash app, and also possible to convert them to a useful format such as MP3…)

The Problem With Ants

My heart goes out to the Buddhist monks of Malaysia’s Hong Hock See temple, which is besieged by ants. Due to their strict adherence to principles of nonviolence, the monks won’t kill the ants, and so far have been unsuccessful in relocating them.

Not long after I became a Buddhist, I stopped killing spiders in my house. These days I take a sheet of paper, get the spider to crawl onto it, and then carry the spider outside, where I set it free. Flying insects are similarly relocated using the old hand-over-a-cup technique.

That said, I still kill ants with impunity. There’s no relocating ants. You arrive home to find your kitchen overrun with ants and there’s only one thing to do: Spray ‘em down with Windex and watch ‘em die by the thousands. Stupid ants.

I have much to learn before I could ever be a monk.

A Woman In Trouble

Inland EmpireDavid Lynch insists that his new film, INLAND EMPIRE, is simply about “a woman in touble.” I’ll say. It’s hard to describe what Laura Dern’s character goes through over the course of this fantastic and initially grueling three-hour experience, but none of it is anything you ever want to experience yourself, that’s for sure. It’s like imagining yourself living the life of Henry, the doomed protagonist of Lynch’s first feature, Eraserhead. You shudder at the thought.

Lynch has also said that his new film is “a mystery.” More like a whole bundle of ‘em. There is a murder—except, no, the victim doesn’t seem to die—while elsewhere, flung far afield in space and time, in grainy, black and white scenes with scratchy sound, there’s another killing—no, make that two—but we can’t quite make out (at least, not on first viewing) who was killed or who did the killing, because … read full post »

Gray Monday Items

  • ITEM: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Read it before it disappears: NYT piece on eating by the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma (currently on my nightstand).
  • ITEM: Here’s just one reason why ethanol sucks: It makes corn tortillas too expensive for poor Mexicans who depend on them. Repeat after me: Don’t burn food!
  • ITEM: Rolling Stone: “Why Gore Should Run — And How He Can Win”
  • ITEM: “Cineplex Drove Me to Piracy”: The best breakdown I’ve read about how much modern multiplexes suck.

Live Life Like You’re Gonna Die…

…Because you’re going to. Last night, as I was finishing off the greatest birthday I’ve ever had, a coworker of mine was murdered in his home.

If you have never heard William Shatner’s glorious “You’ll Have Time,” please, take three minutes to put on your headphones, crank the volume up as loud as you can stand it, and have a listen on me.
You’ll Have Time
(William Shatner/Ben Folds)

Live life
Live life like you’re gonna die
Because you’re gonna
I hate to be the bearer of bad news
But you’re gonna die

Maybe not today or even next year
But before you know it you’ll be saying
“Is this all there was?
What was all the fuss?
Why did I bother?”

Now, maybe you won’t suffer, maybe it’s quick
But you’ll have time to think
“Why did I waste it?
Why didn’t I taste it?”
You’ll have time …
read full post »

Four Cameraphone Shots of Varying Quality

(And a wee bit of text: Today was my thirty-second birthday, and it was so, so, so very splendid. I do not have words to describe… I could tell you I walked aerily along a beach lit with the brightness of a thousand centuries… I could tell you about watching the waves roll in with a friend who has been there watching those waves with me for eons… I could tell you about the baby who looked at me with stern, trusting eyes that imparted everything he knew about where he had come from… I could tell you about the toothless old man who walked with a cane and smiled at me, knowing something about my future… And I would not have even begun. So, at a loss to convey what this beautiful day has meant to me, I leave you with four images, and this: I am so blessed. … read full post »

A Friday Foursome of Items

  • ITEM: Good news from NYC: The 2nd Avenue Deli may rise again.
  • ITEM: The Candy Desk of the United States Senate.
  • ITEM: Jon Carroll waxes eloquent on winter, diabetes, and bakeries.
  • ITEM: I could watch this baby panda sneeze over and over all afternoon.

Attention All Beatles Fans

From my inbox:
Richie Unterberger will be presenting and discussing two hours of rare Beatles audio clips, as well as showing a few rare Beatles film clips and discussing and signing his book The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film, on Wednesday, January 17, from 7:00-9:00pm at the Park Branch of the San Francisco Public Library at 1833 Page Street in San Francisco.
I received a copy of the book as an early birthday gift; it is magnificent. I also attended a similar presentation by Richie last month at the main library in Alameda; it was fantastic.

A Succinct Look Back (Before Striking Forth!)

I was challenged today to contribute to the Mayfly Project, where you use 24 words (no more, no less) to sum up the past year. My entry:
I strive daily to cultivate peace and compassion. I am often blissful, sometimes troubled, sometimes stressed, and usually a bit lonely. Change is possible!
A belated Happy New Year to everyone!