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Found this hiding in my drafts. I love finding old snippets and notes- like getting pictures in the mail from last year that you’d long forgotten.

With the holidays coming up, I can’t resist but to urge you to support the artists, musicians and poets in your life. You can always buy me a book.

Confessions: My Father, Hummingbirds, and Franz Fanon

by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Every effort is made to bring the colonised person to admit
the inferiority of his culture…
—Franz Fanon

And there are days when storms hover
Over my house, their brooding just this side of rage,
An open hand about to slap a face. You won’t believe me

Click to continue reading “Confessions: My Father, Hummingbirds, and Franz Fanon”

Installing PHP, MySQL and MacPorts on Snow Leopard

Funny. I drafted this in January and kept coming back to it when I had to do a fresh wipe and install back in September. Since it’s still in the draft archives, I thought I’d pull it back out in case it helps someone else.

It’s been a long month recovering from a corrupt hard drive and many lessons have been learned. Since my track record is 1 computer corruption/data-loss/water-spill/theft per year, I’ve decided to document so next time I’m only out a few hours.

Click to continue reading “Installing PHP, MySQL and MacPorts on Snow Leopard”

Why Photography?

Recently, I found myself wondering why it is I photograph. It’s something I’ve wanted to re-engage with, without really knowing why. And I needed a strong connection to make the time for it I’d need to commit. I was surprised at my self-serving reply:

5125527896 c1eb7bbfd0 Why Photography?to find myself, or a place for myself, in this world that is a billion realities

where do i already exist? where am i missing? what’s new. what’s familiar. and what’s in between. the nuances in relationships between times, space and people. where i can disappear and what’s ultimately mine. studying the laws of the universe around me so i can both adapt and take form, and try on the infinity of rules so i can feel comfortable existing.

I don’t know that I’ll ever be comfortable, for as soon as I master a new realm (be it a social circle or new activity) I’m already thirsting for something new. This insatiable hunger for experiential learning (I’m not someone to sandbag on your trivia team) propels me so long as I don’t hide in my fears.

And that’s me: Photographer as a healing, mental and spiritual practice. A social confidante.

little moth / i do not think you’ll escape

If you don’t get Poets.org’s Poem a Day, I suggest you check it out. Here’s a snippet from a new fave.

Passage I

by Maureen N. McLane

4622237127 685d2c0d05 m little moth / i do not think youll escape

garden gate, NE portland


little moth
I do not think you’ll escape
this night

I do not think
you’ll escape this night
little moth

*

bees in clover
summer half over
friends without lovers

*

I bite a carrot
horsefly bites me

4622236053 6d26b555b0 m little moth / i do not think youll escape

view from my bedroom window

*

I thought it was you
moving through the trees

but it was the trees

I thought it was your finger
grazing my knee

it was the breeze

continue reading »

Time to Slow Down

4696737910 4ffa3621dc Time to Slow Down

It’s been raining seemingly unstop since April and, as such, we’ve been accustomed to the slug infestation. I rarely see snails, however, so I take my time playing w/the little fellow. I often forget the pleasure in taking 15 minutes to watch, breathe, listen.

And, as I begin to prepare myself for another birthday, I realize the progress in going slow. I can see the trail- carefully chartered, executed and captured. No energy waisted in u turns and destinationless revolutions.

Lonely Duck

4696738690 757f1b2291 Lonely Duck

This past weekend, I went with some friends to Astoria for the 25th Anniversary of the Goonies celebration and was blessed with a day of sunshine, delicious food at the Columbian Cafe – without a doubt, the best brunch on the Pacific Coast.

As we checked out the "for sale" sign on the house next to "THE Goonies House" I spotted Mr Quackles. His owner came home as we were chatting and informed us that friendly Mr Quackles’ partner recently passed away after an unfortunate encounter with a raccoon. I would have stayed longer to continue conversing with the lonely, chatty duck, but I opted to make my way down the hill in silence.

i’m awesome because. a social art experiment?

4696105707 6e6fa4e3b7 i’m awesome because. a social art experiment?

I found this sticker, conveniently placed next to a pen on a string, on a street sign pole outside the Red Flag in Portland OR.

Yes, I took advantage of this social art experiment. If you can track down the sticker, can you guess which answer is mine?

Any idea who’s collating these? Have you seen any others?

Why are you awesome?

look-see: photos for your poetry

Ancient Theories
by Nick Lantz

A horse hair falls into the water and grows into an eel.4492005548 93a9f7e183 m look see: photos for your poetry
     Even Aristotle believed that frogs
                                formed from mud,
that mice sprouted like seedlings in the damp hay.

     I used to believe the world spoke
                           in code. I lay awake
and tried to parse the flashes of the streetlight—
       obscured, revealed,
                    obscured by the wind-sprung tree.4617710443 08a88d07c2 m look see: photos for your poetry
Stranded with you at the Ferris wheel's apogee
       I learned the physics
                    of desire—fixed at the center,
it spins and goes nowhere.

       Pliny described eight-foot lobsters
                         sunning themselves
on the banks of the Ganges. The cuckoo devouring
       its foster mother. Bees alighting
                         on Plato's young lips.
4622838536 37d77b3f79 m look see: photos for your poetry
In the Andes, a lake disappears overnight, sucked
       through cracks in the earth.
                         How can I explain
the sunlight stippling your face in the early morning?

Why not believe that the eye throws its own light,
       that seeing illuminates
                    the world?
                         On the moon,
astronaut David Scott drops a hammer and a falcon feather,
     and we learn nothing
                    we didn't already know.
Can you figure out the next word in this series?
  • Good. Bad. Right. Wrong. Left. Right. Like. _____
LeftRightWrong How Facebook is Breeding a Country of Intolerance and Extremism   NOT Bringing Us Together
thumbs up you like this bumper sticker p128096592726024722trl0 400 How Facebook is Breeding a Country of Intolerance and Extremism   NOT Bringing Us Together
Excellent! Now, let’s look at some numbers. (Quick caveat: this is quick math.)
  • The USA has an estimated population of 308 Million.
  • Facebook has 400 Million users world-wide.
    • 70% are outside of the US, leaving us with 120 Million Americans.
    • That’s darn near 40% of our population – or 2 out of every 5 Americans for those of you preferential to chewing gum commercials.
  • If we look at these by age ranges, I have a hunch that this ratio will creep closer to 50% - or 1 out of every 2 for those of us between the ages of 15 and 40.
    • If anyone can find Facebook data on US members by the same age groups, I’ll do the math.

Now let me go back to that word series. On one hand, I want to fill in “Dislike” and start on a rant of how Facebook is perpetuating the teenage fallacy that the world, choices and judgements are black and white. And that our opinions are facts. And there is no room for savoring chocolate or appreciating nuance. That there is only Like and Dislike.

On the other, Facebook has no Dislike button. So I can’t completely back that up, though living in America’s #2 hipster capital, Portland OR, I can begin to argue that the lack of an opinionated “Dislike” is encouraging apathy. Don’t agree with something? Eh, let it slide. No use in caring enough to disagree or debate.

In both hands is a rather scary phenomenon: nearly half of us Americans are being faced with a seemingly trivial choice more and more frequently every day: do we like something? There is no “kinda-like”, “kinda-think-is-funny”, “don’t like it, but curious where this is going”, “my condolences, i’d like to stay in the loop so i know you’re ok”, etc. (The folks over at buzzfeed have quite the range-ometer.)

After seeing more and more disturbing tea party videos where angry constituents blather on about the only 2 options we as Americans have, to LOVE our country and to HATE our country, I grow concerned that we’re teaching our youths and even ourselves to be intolerable. That there is no in between.

I’m not saying that I want to see 5 stars everywhere, but the simple task of rating engages our brain in a much different way than the simple yes or nothing. What would happen to our collective groupthink when we began practicing critical thinking and rational assessments on a daily basis rather than emotional extremism?


Possibly Related Reading: Culture of Intolerance: Chauvinism, Class, and Racism in the United States, by Mark Nathan Cohen. If anyone reading this has read this book or has any other recommendations on the topic, please let me know.

Cheers,
-jewel

Not sure how to spell “cat-a-corner” or knowing if it should be “kitty-corner” I embarked on a brief little journey into the history of how words change as roots disappear and become obsolete as pop culture takes over.

Did you know, for instance, that kitty-corner evolved from catty-corner, which evolved from catercorner? Catercorner was a compound word from the now outdated cater, which meant four. Four corners- get it?  (I tried looking up the etymology of cater to no avail, though found a separate obsolete meaning, matching cater with the purveyor of foods.) The word finally makes sense to me, as I rarely see cats scuttling across streets, corner to corner. (They tend to prefer the safety of curbs.)

As it turns out, when the root of a word dies and loses it’s contemporary meaning, people often mistake that root for a different synonym. As such, asparagus became sparrow-grass in Europe. (Who knew that originally took its name from the Person asparag, meaning “sprout” or “shoot”? Fun little run-down on wikipedia.)

After digging around on some folk etymology history, here’s a few of my light favorites:

  • French (e)crevisse  (likely from Germanic krebiz and Old English’s crabba for “crab”, which became our crayfish / crawfish
  • Old English bryd-guma (“bride-man”) became bridegroom after the Old English word guma fell out of use and made the compound semantically obscure.
  • hangnail from agnail (from the Old English, “A corn or sore on the toe or finger.”)
  • penthouse from pentice (“An extension of a building’s roof and the protected area beneath.”)
  • chaise lounge from chaise longue (from the French, meaning “long chair”)
  • slug of liquor from the Irish word slog , meaning to swallow
  • Island gets a little more complicated- you’ll just have to read about it here
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