Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Friend


I am at my friend Tricias place...everyone is totally gutted. Her brother and his dog both passed away yesterday morning in a terrible car crash. We spend so much time with Tricia and her family they are our family. Just raw shock. I'll write something proper about him in a bit...just wanted to put this wonderful photo of him here...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Flat

Oh this is so hard to even type. We are gutted. We've lost a friend. I can't write about it right now...I am so sick thinking about their family, our friend...we are in shock. No words. I just want to hug my friend. Tonight...meditation and breathing...

Stag Is The New Owl

How many hipsters does it take to change a lightbulb?

The number is really obscure; you probably haven't heard of it.


Deer heads and stags have been trendy for about 10 years now...but sometimes these trends get second booms. We saw a lot of stags this weekend. Tricia and I did a lot of second hand shopping. We saw this vest with Illinois sillouette and Lincoln sillouette and thought how funny! Then the front of it had all these hilarious buttons and badges...no no really look closer...

We did a big double take. The vest was $50 and would have been funny to buy except then Stagg might actually wear it, so no way!

When we got on a streetcar Saturday night as we went bar hopping...I thought shit, is this a film set? Is this a casting call for people who all dress in ironic retro wear and look about 22? Its like everyone on the streetcar had bought at the exact same store the exact uniform of hip urban bored ness. Its been decades since anyone could even attempt to find something rare or different in music and art. Any band you think you've discovered and fell upon, trust me they have a following of millions....there is no mysterious artist or musician out there, no surprise actor or movement, no unique music or alternative style. the alternative and folk is long dead and popularized within seconds. "Obscure" or "authentic" is all always everywhere for everyone...but even this sight on the Toronto streetcar was a surprise. I actually felt a little embarrassed for all the people who wish they were special and unique and knew cool unheard of music...those days are long gone...

There are two words I've always tried to avoid using. I have tried to not have them in my vocabulary and hope to have them not insert themselves into a pattern of thinking. These two words are discovery and progress. I simply do not believe there is any such thingas progress. Period. Or discovery. I think the human brain has the illusion of progress because it can't see the whole picture. I also think discovery is an illusion of the brain of someone who hasn't seen we just find things already in existence we don't discover them.

In practicing meditation and meeting many people over the years who begin meditating they often go through a phase. Well, many phases are found in "aspirants" f meditation. One phase is feeling special or unique. The idea that we are individuals is very strong part of what may surface when you begin meditating for the first time. We start to see that often our culture has programmmed in us the idea that we are original or different than others. Meditation begins to confront that philosophy.

I have had several friends who were in AA. AA had some very similar concepts and phases as meditation. One is a sort of aspirant when they first practice AA. AA had a adage or concept called "terminal uniqueness." In meditation the concept of terminal uniqueness is part of the ego. The ego thinks it can discover a new band. Or be "authentic" and find rare music and art and literature in order to represent it's own specialness. The ego will resist meditation and group settings "to do it alone".

I think a lot of restrictive thinking...thinking and programming from the kind of economy we have under agriculture in Europe, China, North America...is conducive to this idea of "obscure" and "special". This idea of obscure or unique or alternative feeds into addictive thinking and rigid patterns of behaviour that prevent us from seeing other ways to live and think. I couldn't help but feel a little sad and frightened by this mass manifestation of "obscure" and "authentic" mindset on the Toronto steetcar the other night. This is a kind of reaction to totalitarianism yet...it is just another form of totalitarianism. We want the "old ways" of clothes...a better time, not to be products of machine and economy that keeps us from thinking freely...yet we becme another form of group thinking. We don't want to be a "robot' and that wish is linked to addictive behaviour...and then we become robots in our revolutions.

No programs. No discovery. No progress. Go Occupy Wall Street. Go Occupy Everywhere!









Related Links:

1) Suttree. A novel where the character is a flanuer...but also is trapped in wanting to be "unique" and "authentic". 1979 book review of Suttree.

2) a blog post about terminal uniqueness.

3) "He's wrong... You don't get to do it your way. You don't get to make up your own special rules. We have a name for people like that. Those are people who suffer from terminal uniqueness. You don't get to do it your way." about Charlie Sheen, by Rob Lowe

4) Urban Dictionary on Hipster

5) Ego death at Wiki...and "how to meditate" suggestions at Meditation Oasis

Downtown











Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Death Of The Fringe Suburb

"DRIVE through any number of outer-ring suburbs in America, and you’ll see boarded-up and vacant strip malls, surrounded by vast seas of empty parking spaces. These forlorn monuments to the real estate crash are not going to come back to life, even when the economy recovers. And that’s because the demand for the housing that once supported commercial activity in many exurbs isn’t coming back, either.

By now, nearly five years after the housing crash, most Americans understand that a mortgage meltdown was the catalyst for the Great Recession, facilitated by underregulation of finance and reckless risk-taking. Less understood is the divergence between center cities and inner-ring suburbs on one hand, and the suburban fringe on the other.

It was predominantly the collapse of the car-dependent suburban fringe that caused the mortgage collapse.

In the late 1990s, high-end outer suburbs contained most of the expensive housing in the United States, as measured by price per square foot, according to data I analyzed from the Zillow real estate database. Today, the most expensive housing is in the high-density, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods of the center city and inner suburbs. Some of the most expensive neighborhoods in their metropolitan areas are Capitol Hill in Seattle; Virginia Highland in Atlanta; German Village in Columbus, Ohio, and Logan Circle in Washington. Considered slums as recently as 30 years ago, they have been transformed by gentrification.

Simply put, there has been a profound structural shift — a reversal of what took place in the 1950s, when drivable suburbs boomed and flourished as center cities emptied and withered."

Whole article here by CHRISTOPHER B. LEINBERGER.

Friday, November 25, 2011

All Nighter




Tricia and I pulled an all nighter and drove to Toronto. I haven't driven quite like that ina long time. Tricia slept a bit I just kept driving and pumping coffee. We got here around 8 a.m.

We spent yesterday with the family and just chilled. Today we're going to Kensignton Market. We stayed up late last night shooting the shit with Jill and Scott. I can't get my picture bigger or rotated right now. Off to enjoy another beautiful day and show Tricia around Toronto!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

4 Years Ago



It just came to my attention that our friends band "The Hamburglars" have been playing for four years. I love this crazy video I shot at one of their first gigs. Please feel free to play this video on your blog or FB page..help make them go viral folks! I really want Rosie to have them on her show! She used to collect "Happy Meals" (maybe she still does...I wonder?) and I think she would love this band. I posted this video to her FB page and her twitter.

Body Modification





Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Another Lynch Moment...



There are so many great tv shows. A lot of writers have said in interviews that they look to Twin Peaks as a huge influence. Shows like United States of Tara, Breaking Bad, Nurse Jackie, True Blood, and all the shows with "kooky characters" have the breakthrough eccentric stylings of script and characters in Twin Peaks to nod towards. Twin Peaks is the godhead of all our unique and lovable tv shows these days...

I absolutely love love love the music and intro to Twin Peaks...it still makes my heart go pitter patter.

I've been practicing meditation since I was 13 years old. I just love hearing David Lynch talk about his experiences and perspectives on meditiation. I need a little Lynch in life all the time...so here is some more!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Body Artist


I have a dirty dark secret. Michael's Jacksons' surgery never really bothered me. Actually...I "got it" why he made the changes he did. I thought he looked beautiful. I loved how he looked all his life. As a child peer. As a cutie on the cover of "The Wall". I loved him since I was little and thought I was going to marry him...but I also understood the changes he made with his face.

We never landed up seeing the movie "This Is It" until this week. Maybe it was as good a time as any after his doctor was found guilty of manslaughter for killing Jackson. Hear hear.

"This Is It" is one of the best concert movies ever. Maybe concert movie is too strong seeing as he it wasn't really filmed in front of an audience but the several days of rehearsals and sound checks recorded feel very much like a concert. The dancing is utterly beautiful and outstanding. jackson is a true artist with every move he makes. He is mostly reserved going through the marks and lighting rehearsals...but his moves are perfect, powerful, breath taking...even when he is holding back. His voice is gorgeous. And just some of the simplest gestures with his hands holding a coat or shirt and sliding across the stage made me hold my breath. He must have been from another planet...could he really have been human? He is like a flower out of a William gibson novel...his novels where people don't just get their surgery to look younger but to change species. Michael jackson must notbe human, he must not be from this planet. He moves like magic.




Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mr. New York


I've been watching Regis every morning for years and years. I used to get teased about it from my friends. I first saw Regis Philbin in the mornings when I was in New York City in the 80's. I thought the local tv morning show was the best thing. I used to watch it with coffee staying with friends in Manhattan during my "club days". When his show got syndicated in Canada I was so excited and just worked my day around the show.

The opening segment of host chat was live. In the 1980's there were very very few shows of live tv and the excitement of their chit chat being live was huge for me. It just felt so real. Unscripted, and most of the dialogue was about their personal lives. Original reality tv.

I record the show now...but still the best way to watch it is when its on the fly as it happens. I've watched it even if I am working, or on a road trip. I find it online or record it. I am having a very weird feeling that Regis will no longer be on the morning show. It just feels so weird to anticipate this change. At first when he announced he was leaving the program I was pretty upset. I thought he shouldn't. But in the last few weeks I've really enjoyed all the extra interviews and coverage and accolades people have been giving Regis. I'm glad he has gotten to hear people say they appreciate him and to say best wishes. Regis has been on tv more than any other person. He's broken Guinness records with almost 17,000 hours on tv.

Every episode last week I cried. I was a wreck even though there was still a whole other week coming. this week the tone has been more happy and silly and I have hardly cried at all. I sure hope he takes another job. I've always felt watching the show has kept me leveled out. (there has been some study that the amount of eye contact and/or social time between primates in the morning affects their sleep and mood-see chart below from Seth Roberts)

Watching Regis has always been my little taste of New York City. His brusque and crazy manner has reminded me of so many people I have known from there and the general spirit of the city. I'll still watch the show with Kelly Ripa and whoever they hire to co-host with her by next year...but it just won't be the same.

The show coming up tomorrow morning is going to be his last morning hosting position. I've got a box of tissue ready.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Beautiful Day



I watched the Diane Sawyer interview with Congresswoman Gifford. Wow what an incredible story and her recovery has really been from music. the brain can remember words through music. Above is a really great video of her husband astronaut Mark Kelly giving her a message and greeting before a U2 performance of one of Giffords favourite songs "A Beautiful Day", And Kelly also quotes a David Bowie song. I felt pretty verklempt and thought about my daughter and also a friend of mine who loved Bowie. Michael passed away 20 years ago...but i couldn't help think how much he would have been into this recovery story, and how U2 and Bowie were part of the story and her recovery.
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

"Optimism is a form of healing. Hope is a form of love" Mark Kelly.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Most Popular Artist In America



From The New Republic, a book review by Jed Perl...

THE LOVE AFFAIR between the intellectuals and the trashmeisters, now more than a hundred years old, has just overtaken the man who is by some measures the most popular painter in America. Thomas Kinkade: The Artist in the Mall is an essay collection that exudes a creepy fascination. While a number of the contributors manage to provide level-headed assessments of Kinkade’s place in the American imagination, I am not remotely convinced that such attention should be lavished on Kinkade’s sugar-drenched Middle America, with its frosted gingerbread domiciles, dew-kissed old-fashioned small-town Main Streets, and farmlands so fertile they look as if they’re on steroids. Alexis L. Boylan, who edited the book, would no doubt protest that the size of Kinkade’s reputation justifies the attention on sociological or cultural grounds, pure and simple. I know that many intellectuals believe we overlook middlebrow tastes at our own risk. But there is a large dose of reverse snobbery threaded through this collection. More than a generation after Pop Art became holy writ, it is rather tiresome to be announcing yet again that we live in a democracy where one person’s treasure is another person’s trailer trash, and that their masterworks are not necessarily inferior to the Picasso’s and Matisse’s in our museums. Many of the contributors to Boylan’s anthology want to devour every last bite of their middlebrow cake, but only after each tasty morsel has been skewered on a highbrow fork. The problem is not that they respect Kincade anthropologically, it is that they respect him as an artist.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Verteran's Day Occupy Chicago

11am - Veteran Memorial Speak Out & March (Wacker & Wabash)
OC joins Veterans for Peace, IVAW and AVAW for a memorial and speak out by veterans of Afghanistan, Iraq and the “Global War on Terror” at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

12 pm - March from Vietnam Veterans Memorial to OC headquarters at Jackson & LaSalle

3-5pm - Community Outreach Meeting at Grace Place (637 S Dearborn)
Outreach is inviting community organizations from all over Chicago to see how we can collaborate on actions, trainings, and events.

3-4:30pm - Teach-in: “Resisting Military Recruitment into U.S. Wars for the 1% - On Veterans Day & Everyday”

4:30-6pm - Teach-in: “Critical Theory, Critical Practice”

5:45pm - Silent March and Candlelight Vigil at Veteran’s Memorial
Silent march will leave Jackson & LaSalle at 5:45pm to the Veteran’s Memorial on Wacker Drive at State Street. Once there, people will be encouraged to say a few words or read a favorite poem or song. We will march to OC's General Assembly at Congress & Michigan before 7 pm.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Right?

Nebraska 1958


When we were on the west coast a few months ago driving around victoria...I slowed down and showed Stagg the theatre where I saw Indiana Jones. I was laughing and like, god, who shows where they saw movies to somone...only me... we also checked out the place where many many times after a movie friends and I would go for coffee and chocolate cake. The place is still there called Pagliacci's and still serves chocolate cake. As we walked around downtown Victoria we talked about how big a deal it was to go to a movie and then out for coffee. I just think back on those days where a movie, some cake and coffee was such a way of life. Seeing and discussing movies was a steady past time and would engage a whole evening. Now you're lucky if you can find anyone over the age of 25 who has even been regularly to a movie theatre within a past year.

One of my top top top favourite albums is Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen. I have spent many irreplace hours staring at a ceiling and listening to that record. The title song is sung from the perspective of one of the most famous spree killers Charles Starkweather. I came across the following videos which are behind the scenes interviews with the stars and set designer of an interpretation of the Starkweather killing spree called Badlands (one of my best memories of seeing a movie). Martin Sheen talks a bit about a review of the movie and how the critic tells people they must stop and go see this movie. I thought, gee how often do you hear a film critic just wowed by a movie these days? How often does someone say just GO see a movie. when was the last time a friend called me up and said i HAD to see a movie. I know one of the last times I called up friends and told them they had to see a movie. It was 1999 and the movie was The Matrix I was so excited I just phoned everyone I knew and said they had to see it in the theatre. (more about that tomorrow...)

Ive always been fascinated by Jack Fisk. Jack Fisk is film art director. I have always been so interested when he works on a movie because the sets and details are always so fastidiously treated. He is the art director on most of David Lynch's movies and all of Terrence Mallicks movies. He worked on Raggedy Man and Carrie. He is also interesting because he has been married to Sissy Spacek for thirty years.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Greece


From the other night on SNL.

Flash


I think these might be the most fave tattoo designs I've ever seen. Brilliant!

Monday, November 07, 2011

B.C. Sign Off



Here is a lovely sign off from B.C.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

What I Tweeted Today

Taking steps to deal with a 2 yr BLOCK. Will blog about it. Today I went for a run. By run I heaved and panted in public. Baby steps.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

10 Coms For Nons...

Shout out to Asterisk...for this list...I love it. A 10 commandments for non-believers...

In his new book, "God, No!" atheist magician Penn Jillette tells how he was challenged by conservative radio host Glenn Beck to come up with an atheist's version of The Ten Commandments.

"I wanted to see how many of the ideas that many people think are handed down from (G)od really make sense to someone who says, 'I don't know.'"
Here's his list:
STORY: Magicians say craft makes them see faith as hocus-pocus
1. The highest ideals are human intelligence, creativity and love. Respect these above all.
2. Do not put things or even ideas above other human beings. (Let's scream at each other about Kindle versus iPad, solar versus nuclear, Republican versus Libertarian, Garth Brooks versus Sun Ra— but when your house is on fire, I'll be there to help.)
3. Say what you mean, even when talking to yourself. (What used to be an oath to (G)od is now quite simply respecting yourself.)
4. Put aside some time to rest and think. (If you're religious, that might be the Sabbath; if you're a Vegas magician, that'll be the day with the lowest grosses.)
5. Be there for your family. Love your parents, your partner, and your children. (Love is deeper than honor, and parents matter, but so do spouse and children.)
6. Respect and protect all human life. (Many believe that "Thou shalt not kill" only refers to people in the same tribe. I say it's all human life.)
7. Keep your promises. (If you can't be sexually exclusive to your spouse, don't make that deal.)
8. Don't steal. (This includes magic tricks and jokes — you know who you are!)
9. Don't lie. (You know, unless you're doing magic tricks and it's part of your job. Does that make it OK for politicians, too?)
10. Don't waste too much time wishing, hoping, and being envious; it'll make you bugnutty.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Mystery Soundtrack



I was pretty excited to see a new mystery mini-series on PBS this fall. It's called Case Histories and is really really good. The setting is Edinburgh and it is filmed really lovely. I love the characters, the music, the stories and actors. I highly recommend. I liked it so much I've saved it on my DVR to watch again.


"Thoughts from Kate Atkinson: Like me, Jackson is a long-term country fan and for each of the novels I've had a playlist — something which often evolves during the course of the novel, but which somehow points me to something essential at the heart of each book. Sometimes the tracks don't seem particularly relevant, but they are to me (and Jackson)...

I sent the Started Early tape to Ashley Phoenix, the writer of two of the Case Histories episodes, as he's also a country fan. I suspect some of the choices on the soundtrack are his, but the Mary Gauthier song is mine. I'm really glad that thanks to Case Histories more people have discovered Mercy Now as I think it's such a great track.

Jackson likes his women, not just Nanci Griffith and Lucinda Williams but also Iris DeMent, Gillian Welch, Mary Gauthier, Eliza Gilkyson and a host of others. I am (and thereby Jackson, of course) a total fan of both Lucy Kaplansky and Patti Griffin, neither of whom are feature here but would most definitely have been on Jackson's playlist. Kris Delmhorst was a new artist to me but I've been listening to her a lot since discovering her on the soundtrack." from here. And here is a review by NYTs.

The Music

Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness by John E Prine (Bug Music / Universal International Music) – Performed by Nanci Griffith
Mercy Now by Mary Gauthier (Mary Gauthier Songs /UMG Recordings Inc)
Sweet Old World by Lucinda Williams (Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp / Chameleon Records)
Your Long Journey – Traditional /Doc Watson – Rosa Lee Watson (NS) – (Hillgreen Music/ Rounder Records Corp) Performed by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
I’ll Take My Sorrow Straight by Iris DeMent – Elmer McCall (NS)-(Songs of Iris/ WEA International Inc.)
Trouble by Iris DeMent – Elmer McCall (NS)-(Songs of Iris/ WEA International Inc.)

When You Walk On by Eliza Gilkyson – (Gilkysongs/ Red House Records, Inc.)
Busker’s Saxophone by Kenny Tomlinson ( Ruby Films (Case Histories) Limited)
Bus to Baton Rouge by Lucinda Williams (Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp / UMG Recordings Inc)
2 Hearts by John Eliot & Jemima Stilwell (Sony/TV Music Publishing (UK) Limited/ EMI Records Limited) Performed by Kylie Minogue
Calm Before The Storm by Eliza Gilkyson – (Gilkysongs/ Red House Records, Inc.)

Destiny by Sia Furler, Henry Binns, Sam Hardaker, Sophie Barker – (Universal/MCA Music Limited/ EMI Music Publishing Ltd /Ultimate Dilemma Records) Performed by Zero 7
Drinkin’ Problem by Mark D Sanders & Lori McKenna (Larga Vista Music/ Hornall Brothers America Music/ Warner Music UK Limited) Performed by Lori McKenna
Mercy Now by Mary Gauthier (Mary Gauthier Songs /UMG Recordings Inc)
Winter Wonderland by Felix Bernard & Richard B Smith – (Donaldson-Douglas-Gumble Inc./ Sony Music Entertainment Inc) Performed by Macy Gray
The Magic by Joan Wasser (Chrysalis Songs/[PIAS] Recordings) Performed by Joan as Police Woman
Since You Went Away by James Johnson & Kris Delmhorst – (Big Bean Music/ Continental Record Services B.V) Performed by Kris Delmhorst
Vcr by Romy Croft, Baria Qureshi, Oliver Sim & Jamie Smith – (Universal Music Publishing Limited/ XL Recordings Limited) Performed by The xx

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

James Bond Guitar?



hey, I just had to forward on this guitar news from blogger "Guitars and Life". A new brand of guitars! Made by the snazzy luxury car company, Aston Martin.

If Kim Kardashian Can Get Married...

Why can't gay people?