Check out the conference yafro site. I'll be uploading some photos here.
I typed in the title above and immediately the High Lamas start singing in my head... "it's the final night, and they still can't get it right. the movement on the stage was so-so... do do do do, they're calling it the stop and go show..."
it's delightful dittying. So here I am in Maui. On this heathervescent blog o mine, I haven't reallu waxed work for a while. It's because I have been focusing almost no attention on work. So it's a somewhat shock to my system to be conference attending (www.c-summit.com), checking out companies, technologies, getting back into the techno talk. This comes easy to me. I know the tech, I have a lot of insights, I'm not a self-important ego focused whatever.... but still...
This tech part of me is just that. A part. Not part of the whole. So how much of who I am comes through. Is that important? At AOL, not only did I thrive on the technology and opportunity, but I used it as my primary battlefield to work on myself personally. The profession space is a great place to watch and learn about yourself and fellow primates. My real interests are in how people interact. And what happens when you throw technology into the mix. What does it do to us as a primate species to interact with each other with a technology wall - kind of the way you and I are interacting right now. Me here, in a lobby in the Ritz Carlton on Maui. You, where you are in front of your screen.
Technology enables you to experience somewhat, what I am experiences. Here you can experience my direct experience by my communication to you via typing it into my blog and posting it. With a cameraphone (if I get around to setting up the moblogging stuff) I can take pictures of the places I'm going to visit (and have already visited). Dragon Teeth, the petroglyphs.... ok, I guess I'll try to get the moblogging stuff going and maybe take some picture - so that you can experience visually, as well as the way you are right now...
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the sentence on your blog along with these instructions.
_Fool on the Hill_, Matt Russ
But he wasn't sure he liked the idea of putting down roots here, even tentative ones.
Found an interesting weblog, Yoko, from whom via Kalinha I found the above.
Sunny gorgeous day. No fog or clouds in the sky. Yesterday I rode Lady Knight up to Tomales. It was the first long ride (yeah right, a whole 100+ miles and a few hours) in a long time and bod was getting tired. It's not always so ..... to ride a vibrating machine for hours on end. It doesn't help that I haven't had any physical therapy for shoulder/arm problem for weeks. Thanks Arnold to your workers comp law changes!!
But I wanted to get out and ride. I'm tired of stopping doing all the fun physical activities I used to do because of an injury. I've started doing handstands again (and doing amazingly well). And my body is happier for it.
Today I'm going to enjoy the sunshine.
Yesterday I took in the Art Deco exhibit at the Palace of the Legion of Honor. The exhibit showed Art Deco "influences", which included a whole bunch of stuff. There was some really fantastic stuff and some stuff that was like, huh? that's Art Deco? It seemed to me that Art Deco was an eclectic mix of all kinds of things that happened to be popular at the time. The term Art Deco was not used contemporarily. It's not what the style was called when it was new. Which lead me to a mental masturbation about what the current style will be categorized as. Cultural reflection becomes history. Just as self reflection becomes history. Could you as an individual leave your personal history behind? Or even become detached from it, but not defined by it? Could a culture do this?
That typed, I did enjoy the exhibit. More about art biddies later....
A Scanner Darkly by PK Dick
I was somewhat annoyed by this book. It was so teenage boy rambleness. I was waiting for something to happen and it did. It happened so slowly that I didn't quite notice it. The slow graduation from known reality to burnout to twist in the last chapter. My final feeling is mixed with continued interest in Dick as a writer and less interest in this story in particular. I suppose if you want to know what it's like to get addicted to something and the aimless chatter and paranoia along with it, the story is for you. But that's just not where I'm at in my life, so less interest for me personally. I really liked a couple things that Dick wrote.
(from p. 231 Vintage Ed)
"After he saw God he felt really good, for around a year. And then he felt really bad. Worse than he had ever before in his life. Because one day it came over him, he began to realize, that he was never going to see God again; he was going to live out his whole remaining life, decades, maybe fifty years, and see nothing but what he had always seen. What we see. He was worse off than if he hadn't seen God. ... He realized he was going to have to live on and on like he was, seeing nothing. Without any purpose. Just a lump of flesh grinding along, eating, drinking, sleeping, working, crapping."
"Like the rest of us." It was the first thing Bob Arctor had managed to say[.] ... " Did ... he say what it was like?"
"Sparks. Showers of colored sparks, like when something goes wrong with your TV set. Sparks going up the wall, sparks in the air. And the whole world was a living creature, wherever he looked. And there were no accidents: everything fitted together and happened on purpose, to achieve something -- some goal in the future. ...
And so on. I found this interesting because this is a very good description of a technique I try to practice called seeing. I call it the fizz. You can see the fizz. It doesn't take any special skills. I used to do it as a kid, looking up into the ceiling. Best time to try this is at dusk. Be in a room where the light comes, defocus your eyes but stare at the ceiling or wall. Just relax and try to keep very quiet. You may notice there is a film over the wall or ceiling and it looks like snow on your TV. I also generally notice a yellow gold glow. Cool!
Friday afternoon I headed north to some Mineral Springs near Mt Shasta. I really like spending time in hot water.
I've never driven up 5 north of Sacramento. It was beautiful open country with rolling hills. Off to the east volcanic peaks. Shasta lake, pines, more volcanic topography. Beautiful. I pulled off in the sadly named Weed and headed west to a higher elevation. The road followed a swiftly running creek up the mountain.
It was raining when I reached the bath house. I noticed the sweat lodge set up near the front. I crossed the wooden railroad tie bridge and checked in. The bath set up was different than I had experienced. There were small rooms with individual bath tubs. The mineral water had silica in it and was very slippery and had a slight sulphuric scent. Nothing like other mineral springs I have been to. I filled the tub with warm/hot water and slipped in. Then I went into the wood stove heated sauna. After sweating and heating my body up I decided to check out the cold running snow melt creek. I am a fan of cold plunges. Usually the first one is very hard and then I am addicted. If I can get myself to get in, I am usually glad I did. I was standing on the edge of the creek with a sheet wrapped around my body. It was switching between rain and sleet and the air temperature was under 40 degrees. I knew the water was much colder. It was probably just above freezing, but I thought, why not experience this fully? I have nothing to lose? I have nothing to be afraid of. I can always get back out and then I will have had the experience. So with that in mind, I left my sheet on a nearby rock and slowly picked my way into the stream. I can not overstate how cold the stream was. My body was in shock. I couldn't feel anything except my heart beating rapidly and my mind freaking out. I took deep breaths and submerged my head and shoulders in the running stream. I had to carefully make my way back to the edge of the creek because there were lots of boulders and rocks and drug myself out of the water. My body was completely and utterly alive. I grabbed my sheet, which gave little if any protection from the rain and cold, and sat down outside on a bench. I was in the water for no more than 20-30 seconds.
My skin had goose bumps all over it and I saw steam rising off my body and breath. Yet I didn't feel necessarily cold. As I sat outside I felt an expansion coming from my neck vertebras. It was a white yellow feeling and moved up and down my spine. It was mostly a feeling of expansion in my whole spinal column. I sat outside and felt this feeling until it subsided and I noticed I was shivering. Then I went back inside and did the whole thing a couple more times.
I tell you, the cold plunge is addictive, if you can get yourself to do it once.
I've been rereading Tom Robbin's _Even Cowgirls Get the Blues_. I came across an idea that explains nicely why I do things differently. Here's my personal interpretation.
I'm not different because I want to stand out. I'm not different because I want attention or to be noticed. I'm just like everyone else. I'm a human. I breathe air. I live. I do things differently because their are many things that need to be expressed. There are plenty of people expressing popular and "mainstream" things. The expression capacity of those experiences is fairly full, and more people will do those popular and mainstream things because they are accessible and often appropriated as an acceptable thing to do/express.
I remember thinking to myself 15+ years ago (when I was 15) that even the nonconformists conform to a predefined notion of nonconformity. Generally speaking, nonconformists are not original in their nonconformity.
I do things differently because I see activities and perceptions and experiences that have a need to be expressed, experienced. And I see few people expressing/experiences these items. Because I pay attention to the world I live in, I have noticed these things. This gives me the opportunity to choose to express mainstream/popular items or pay attention to these lesser noticed experiences and expressions.
I noticed a couple interesting things yesterday. I'm driving along 505 and 5 north of SacTown and all of a sudden I start to notice bails of hay on the shoulder and in the median of the freeway. Pretty soon the bails of hay turn into rows of cut hay ready to be bailed. And I think, that's a really interesting use of federal lands - to bail hay. I don't think the hay they get from the freeway would be that great to feed to animals, but it might make good ornamental hay bails. So I thought - cool.
I also noticed lots of black birds. From the steely-eyed grackle to the large raven. They hung out in the ribs on the side of the road pecking. Cars were whizzing by at 70 miles an hour just 1 or 2 feet away and they were not phased at all. I guess they have learned that most cars drive on the other side of the yellow line. This story reminds me of another bird story I witnessed. We had stopped at the Wagon Wheel in Needles, CA for their pancake bfast special (2.99!) and as we sat at the table we watched a black grackle hop from one car to the other picking at the windshield wipers. Apparently this bird had learned that bugs got stuck there and was looking for an easy meal. Smart bird!
Today I was rambling around the city, doing odds and ends in various parts of the city. I was visiting a friend of mine on Russian Hill. As I was driving over to the Haight, not even out of the area, I noticed I was very close to a leather shop. I have been planning to buy some leather to make some arm and headbands and found this guy in the phonebook who sold exotic leather for all kinds of stuff. I was two blocks from the address. So I swung by. It was in the bottom of an apartment building. I walked into the smell of leather and exotic skins on the walls. Alligator, frog. Moccasins hung from the ceiling and I LOVED them. I loved the place. It reminded me of Sandalmaker Rich's shop, Pathfinder Leather, in Iowa. So I talk to John Fong, the owner, about fixing my leather jacket and buying some leather. In the meantime I start telling him about my friend who has a shop that reminds me of his. We talk some more and find out that he also knows Rich. Rich Foudree from Ottumwa Iowa! It's such a small world. John showed me an alligator vest he made for another guy in Iowa. (His most expensive item ever made - over 5K!)
Later I was hanging out in a coffeeshop waiting for some friends and I got a mocha. The barista made a heart with an arrow in the foam on the top. That was kind of cute, but I merely sat and wrote in my journal. I'm not really sure what to do with flirting these days.
I wanted to find out when and how Bruce Chatwin died. He was 48 and apparently died of an AIDS related illness. I found out there is an actual book biography on him. Maybe I'll check it out at the library.
On another note, barbarino leant me 7-8 PK Dick books. I've read several of his short stories and _Do Androids Dream..._ (aka BladeRunner), but not much else. I remember BladeRunner came out. In 1982, I was 8. I saw a preview of it and was immediately fascinated. I didn't know what the story was about. I only knew I liked the feeling I got watching the preview. Dark, rainy, mysterious. It was a LA I never knew of. One clouded over (with smog?!) raining, skyscrapers. A complete contrast to the sunny moist southern california weather.
I've started reading, _A Scanner Darkly_. First off, I am irritated by the way women "chicks" are referred to. Foxy, bang her, etc. It's part of the book, but I'm bored by it. I got the same irritation when I read a bunch of Heinlein. It's just like so, retro and in the past. Anyway, I'm letting my irritation sit to the side to see where the plot and character development go.
Some friends of mine told me about an interesting weblog. It's a woman's motorcycle rides through the Chernobyl dead zone with photos and commentary. It's pretty amazing and I suggest you check it out.
I'm thinking more and more about a solo motorcycle trip. I researched Australian desert tours the other day and found a good candidate in a self guided tour loop up the eastern coast then west to Alice and Ayers Rock then south and east through New South Wales and back up the coast. Of course I'll want to spend some time in Melbourne (the SF of Oz) and I'm pondering a short (3-4) day liveaboard in Ribbon Reefs or Barrier Reef, but we'll see how time, travel and money goes.
Charlie Kaufman is a new Fellini. This is an utterly amazing film. The story and the way it unfolds is great. It's unique, fresh and completely emotional. I continue to be amazed at how synchronous my life is. Things that should have no relation to what is going on in my life somehow find themselves delivering a final blow to an increasingly fragile ego. There were just too many things about this movie and the characters in the movie that are similar to me, Clint, my life and my relationship with Clint. Which is at a transitioning point and has been for a while now. Seeing a movie like eternal sunshine is the knife twisting. It comes on the heels of the last post (I'm the same damn person) like a final blow to my reality. Which, is what it is.
I could say I'm stuck in a place, but I'm not. I know exactly where I am. Taking the next steps seem like some of the hardest. But oh well, I'll take them. And I do.
I hear the call of the desert. It's a time to be dusting off the nighthawk and a traveling to the Mojave. I've got this idea in my head that I want to moto in the australian desert. It's the bruce chatwin rubbing off on me and my experiences of the mojave. If I do this, I'll have to feel a lot more comfortable on dirt.
I was oh.... 13 years ago. I've been sifting through a bunch of old letter I wrote to a certain someone over the course of the past 13 years. Same damn stuff, slightly different handwriting. The signature is somewhat the same.
It makes me ponder, all this talk (type) of thinking I'm somewhat different, or my "worldview" has changed... but basically I am the same person. Same person I was when I was 17. or 18. Did I get stuck in that place? Did I never become an adult? Have I been faking it all along with a financial planner and big corporate job (well not anymore thank god) and 401k and mortgage and fuck, I'm just barely 30. It's not time for my mid-life crisis.
I'm surprised at what I find I said - and still rings true. I could care less for politics. They just doesn't interest me. (I know someone will get all outraged about how I should care about the war and greased pockets of our government - but truth be told - the whole world is like that - not just in politics, but in business, in communities, in cultures and religions. It's not news to me, and it seem just like a waste of my time to get all caught up in it.) Because when I die, will I care who was president or not? No, I don't think so. Yeah, sure, what one president's policy may hasten my demise, but so may riding a motorcycle. Death is coming and it doesn't really matter when it does. What matters is being aware that death is coming and taking advantage of all the other times that death does not arrive. (Think Monty Python meaning of life here.)
So back to myself - my favorite topic. The egotistical Heather. No wait, the self-observing, reflecting Heather. (Which is just some marketing speak about egotistical Heather.)
But seriously, Heather, (because I write this blog for me, like anyone else cares to hear about my blathering on about meself) what's up with this? What happened to all that self-observation and reflection crap that you just typed and have been trying to live for the past 10 years. Well, Heather (in response) I have been doing exactly that - living and learning. As my life has unfolded I am in a constant learning environment to be enlightened. To have my awareness enhanced. And you know heather, according to all the castaneda blather you read and practice, isn't that what this is all about? Taking your lifeforce and enhancing the awareness so that there is more awareness when death does take you like the Dinofelis, sweet and dreamy with it's jaw. Well, um, yeah, but, I want to know what it's all about NOW. I want to know what the RIGHT thing to do is. (Great sentence structure there.) But heather, come on, you know this as much as I do, that there is NO RIGHT thing to do. It's to do something. It's to get out and LIVE - to enhance that awareness, whether you do it on a motorcycle or out chopping wood and carrying water. But, uh, *stomps foot* I want to make the best of my time here and cram in as much as I can, I don't have time for mistakes. Well, think about it this way, the universe doesn't make mistakes, and people don't either. But, wait, that can't be true. What kind of freaky shit are you smoking to be having a conversation and typing it all up on a PUBLIC WEBSITE. Well, you see heather, the thing is, all you've had this evening is a cup of coffee and before that you had a new york steak. Remember you fried it up in the cast iron pan downstairs. Oh yeah. It's kind of fun writing like this, it's like the comic Cerebus. Yeah, it is.
Is your awareness enhanced now? Well, I guess so. I feel a little better and some slight pressure removed from making a MISTAKE or doing something WRONG.
But seriously, I am somewhat ... perplexed, disappointed, sad that I haven't really changed. Then again, in Chatwin's book, which I finished this afternoon, he wrote... (page 244)
All species must "jump" eventually, but some jump more readily than others. Elizabeth Vrba showed me graphs on which she had plotted the lineage of two sister clades of antelopes, the Alcephalini and Aepycerotini, both of which shared a common ancestor in the Miocene.
The Alcephalini, the family to which the wildebeeste and hartebeest belong have "specialised" teeth and stomachs for feeding in arid conditions, and have thrown up about forty species over the past six and a half million years. The impala, a member of the Aepycerotini, being a generalist with a capacity to thrive in a variety of climates has remained the same to this day.
Evolutionary change, she said, was once hailed as the hallmark of success. We now know better: the successful are the ones that last.
Thanks Bruce. But I'm not sure how I feel or think about all that.
I used to believe in true love. That there was one person out there that would compliment me perfectly and visa versa. I was in search of that person and sure I would find him. That was a myth of course. A myth that was taught to me as a young girl. Most likely culled from Disney's version of fairy tales.
My first glimpse that there may not be true love was in Brazil. It was there I realized that I could get along with a variety of very different men. I didn't mold myself to fit their views of a woman (I blew them away being American and heathervescent), and I felt a lightness in not trying to fit them into some kind of perfect vision. I tried out this view and it worked well. Then I came back the US. I continued this experiment, but eventually fell back into the "one true love" model. It was a sweet. It was bittersweet. It could be a reality with lots of work. (I keep hearing Mick's voice drawling, "And all my dreams would come true" from Far Away Eyes.) And really, a myth is like a stereotype on an archetypical level.
So now, where am I? I'm not looking for love. I'm exploring. I'm exploring this world and myself in the world. So I have a choice of what I want to believe, instead of just believing in what I taught.
it's another sunny morning. I've been plugging through chatwin's australia. He's been holed up in Cullen for a week or so and is reviewing his moleskines written during his travels. I've been reading his thoughts and excerpts about aggression, travel, the hero path, war, walking. I know what is happening. What the days go like. Reviewing, thinking, writing. A stranger in a strange land. Similar, yet different enough to move the writer from the habitual point of view.
that's the good thing about traveling. and you don't even have to go to another country to get a shift like that.
I was in japantown yesterday. I walked around the small shops. Everything so particular, specific. The stationary shop, a shop with lots of metal tea pots. There was a feeling of time - I didn't feel the rush that I had in the mission (hustling). There was not a lot of space, but the space was used appropriately.
Cultures are different views of the world. I suppose that's no surprise or revelation, but it's a nice thing to think about and experience. It makes me reflect upon my personal culture, and gives me the choice to decide which parts I like and include myself. The work hard, play hard of Brazil, the heat. I want to cultivate the spaciousness of time. Time is a commodity in the US. But there are places where time doesn't really matter.
Ah, I've waxed somewhat philosophical now. I don't really want to go there this early. I'll write my other post, and then close up and finish the songlines.
I get crushes on weird people. Not necessarily the people you'd expect someone to get a crush on. But I realized a while back that I was much more attracted to interesting looking people than traditionally beautiful ones. Take Money Mark. I don't know what it is, but I have a crunch on him. His aloof, laid-back latin-asian look. Then there is William DeFoe, what's up with that one? And the classic Steve Buscemi - upon whom I don't have a crush anymore, but I did for a while. Then there is creepy Crispin Glover - I've had a crunch on him since way before Charlie's Angels.
So, oh well. If Bruce Chatwin was still alive, I'd probably have a crunch on him too. I'm so enamored with his writing (it's how I think) and his travels (reminds me of my own, though I have not been to the many places he has) and his adventerous spirit (which I identify with).
I remember when I started reading the Viceroy of Ouida, and thinking, damn, this is how I want to write. I was planning on taking these months off from work to write some book ideas. One about Brazil in the chatwin style. But, I have merely spent this time thinking about myself, my life and what I want. Doing a mental walkabout. Checking on my frequent flyer status, I have enough to go to Australia and Hawaii. Do I dare?
A friend of mine is traveling around the world. I just got his update from Zanzibar. ZANZIBAR!!! Amazing. I am reminded of the dead flying ... at the market in Port Vila, Vanuatu. Of flying into the airport made of cinder bricks topped with corigated sheet metal. (I know, isn't my spelling horrible?!)
Adventure. I thirst for it. And at the same time, security. I guess that's why I'll have a financial planner managing my assets, as I go out into the wilderness. At least that's what I like to think I'd do. I may just end up in a condo in Santa Monica or Venice, driving around listening to the eagles. Well, I hope it doesn't come to that.
oh my god, I've become completely addicted to computer solitare again. It's just so... mindless.
Remember how I posted a quesiton a while back about things you do to get into an altered state? Well, computer solitare will do it. Be ware. Be aware.