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November 27, 2000

Waste not, want not.

It occurs to me that one way to talk about a fundamental core of Buddhist thought could be to talk about not wasting anything --- as they say, to burn up completely, without smoke, so that nothing is left. This means to give one's entire mind and body to what one is doing. Not by making a huge effort --- but rather by being completely immersed with every aspect of one's being --- mental, physical, energetic.

November 23, 2000

Disjointed Thanksgiving thoughts.

Giving up is hard to do. But somehow, until we give up, we can never really fully participate in the reality of whatever it is we need to give up. That's been my experience.

Why is it that some things, like being a rock musician, usually seem to deteriorate with age, and other things, like being an artist or writer, often do not?

The other day this sentence popped into my head: poetry wants nothing more than the end of time. I don't know if I really agree with it or not.

Was visiting Berkeley recently. Berkeley seems to have died a horrible slow death. When I took a year at UC Berkeley in the mid-80's it was already generally considered to be in decline --- but now, it seems mostly dead --- at least the vibrancy that was once in the air is just gone. It's like a neutron bomb: the buildings are still there, but the people aren't. It's not that I long for a return to the hippie days --- it's that I wish things had sort of continued on, evolved on. It is as though Berkeley could never muster up the imagination to realize there could be an alternative to hippiedom. It was either the 60's or conventionalism, and the latter seems to have taken over. Of course I know there is still stuff happening there, but in terms of the overall feel of the place, the overall scene, it just seems strangely hollow.

In Portland or Olympia things are different. Stuff is happening now, and it is neither defined by opposition to conventionalism nor is it defined in opposition to the past. It both includes and is distinct from both the conventional and the past. It feels alive, continuous. It is not limited by manifestos or ideology. Yet it still contains and feeds off of manifestos and ideology. Why is it happening in these places and it seems to have a harder time persisting and thriving elsewhere? I have only scattered ideas.

The bad news is that after years of overlooking, Money Magazine has suddenly seen fit to declare Portland, Oregon the #1 best place to live in the country. Not that I disagree, but uh oh. I just hope not too many typical readers of Money Magazine end up moving here (no, I don't read the magazine, I found this out from a friend in an email, with an expletive as her subject line...) Of course, who am I to complain, since *I* spend my time here, and I come from the dreaded California, originally.

November 21, 2000

Sorry I have been so remiss in updates --- it has been hectic. Paul told me once to just post something, anything, every day, so thinking of this I write something here now, though I am way past my bedtime. There are many things to write about, so little time.

Susan said today that she wished there were more ways for people to move from room to room than doorways and stairways. I asked her what she would like instead. She said that she wished that houses would be like those tent cities that we all made as children out of blankets and furniture. She's always dreamt of houses which you could move around in like that, with all sorts of twisty crazy secret passageways and openings, which would give you that experience.

November 17, 2000

Been on the road the last week or so, visiting Los Angeles. Took my parents to see Miranda's performance piece, The Swan Tool; I did work on the editing and digital production. They loved it. It's nice to get validation from one's parents. My dad's an artist and I have had more validation from my parents than many of my friends get from theirs... I feel quite fortunate.

November 13, 2000

One business that is booming as a result of the election impasse: Electoral College Sportswear.

November 9, 2000

The bizarre and seemingly amazingly improbable events surrounding the elections have made me feel that perhaps we have slipped into a strange quantum improbability bubble, where everything that you think has a vanishingly small chance of happening actually happens with great probability. Perhaps someone has switched on an Infinite Improbability Drive by mistake.

November 5, 2000

Jeremy Bushnell (Invisible City) sends me links to the audio artist Rafael Toral, and in particular his feedback work "Aeriola Frequency" (short clips, longer review).

Jeremy keeps a "fictional weblog" as well, created by a character he calls Thomas, who likes audio feedback art among other things.

My friend Ed Cutrell said my elevator musings reminded him of a book, Colson Whitehead's The Intuitionist, about an elevator inspector in a "slightly parallel universe." He recommends this book highly.

Another interesting Iranian director, Majid Majidi. Just saw The Color of Paradise, a sensuous yet nicely understated film. He makes impressive use of sound and image to recreate the experience of a blind boy who is making his way through the world with ample amounts of gentle awareness.

November 2, 2000

"You're more beautiful than time itself."
"I thought you said time doesn't exist."
"Well, you're more beautiful than nonexistence itself."
Astria Suparak was saying the other day that the Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami was very much worth checking out. I have put his film, Taste of Cherry, on my to-be-rented list.