Tag Archives: church

selections from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

“It’s only possible to betray where loyalty is due,” said Sandy. Continue reading

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Paris · Farningham · London · Amsterdam

~ 0 ~
horrible traffic
in n out
4-hour delay
“this is the worst airline ever”
chili’s out of salad and Mexican food
geographically challenged hostess
know your rights!
sleep? dreamy purple pinkish tint thereof
a moment in Oslo
nightmare on rue chaptal
Moulin Rouge

~ 1 ~
walk to espresso
Tour Eiffel
walk along the Seine
lunch in the Latin Quarter?
Notre Dame
espresso for the Louvre
kill in the garden
fancy ass French food
Arc de Triomphe
legs falling off
white wine and Lucky Strike

~ 2 ~
Père Lachaise
Indian at Chapelle
Musée d’Orsay
fancy ass fucking ave (dck sp + chkn brst)
farewell to the Seine
1-2-3!!! something something Algérie!!!

~ 3 ~
omelette complet at the Gare du Nord
Eurostar to Ebbsfleet
tea (twice) on the Tabsfield green
tomato basil, cheesy mushroom quiche, fresh strawberry creme brûlée, and a couple pints with the wedding party and co.
the cottage

~ 4 ~
fresh fruit, meat, a poached egg, and coffee
dressing for the wedding
Frost on the green
wedding at St Peter and St Paul’s Church
half Indian feast and dance (the Brits, the delicious Indian food, the champagne beer red and white wine, the light rain, and heavy dancing)
afterparty at the cottage

~ 5 ~
breakfast redux (hungover version)
football w Maya on the green
to London
appetizing Indian leftovers
The Tower
wandering in the rain
St. Paul’s
old fucking white egg-headed, perfectly circular black spectacle-wearing, pound-grubbing pieces of shit ushers guarding against pilgrims at the footsteps to the house of god
covent garden
lazying and familying

~ 6 ~
waking up sans Natalie in a nasty mood
bacon on a roll
cold shower
Tate Modern
The Globe
Upminster then Whitechapel

~ 7 ~
waking up w Natalie, happily
full English breakfast in Whitechapel
Natural History Museum
Kensington Gardens
fancy ass Indian food
£5 to the girl from Canada Macedonia CA
USA v BLG :(

~ 8 ~
scratched iris
mushroom omelette
nap to
and nap from
Nando’s w David and Evelyn

~ 9 ~
to Amsterdam
grocery shopping
white wine
a spliff at Rookie’s
shoarma on the corner

~ 10 ~
homemade breakfast
double espresso
spliff on the diagonal green
shopping, snacks in bed
Little Thai Prince
red light district
overpriced and pre-rolled
stoned wander home
ice cream

~ 11 ~
bacon breakfast
Blue Bird
Myrabelle, bartended by a more muscular and more feminine version of John Dwyer.
gluten-free crackers, goat cheese, smoked salmon, olives dripping in oil and basil, water, and wine
second Thai dinner
Amstels all night at the cafe

~ 12 ~
check out
fresh fruit pancake across from Anne Frank
spliff on the green
Van Gogh Museum
rest in Vondelpark

~ 13 ~
home? Continue reading

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famous boobs, giant boobs, fat boobs, tiny boobs, boobs on stage, boobs in my mouth, boobs backstage, boobs all around!







that right there’s Jenny Lewis, the bodacious female vocal lead for the Postal Service, who i just saw perform last night at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. decked out with giant fluffy hair, a dazzling little black dress, and white fishnets… isn’t she such a fucking rock star? her guitar work’s as sexy as she is too.

overall, i loved the show. the band made no qualms about it: everybody was there to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Give Up, the band’s only studio album. seems like just yesterday we were all in high school trying to figure out how to get laid and ace our classes with the least work possible while simultaneously deciding on where to go to college to maximize our chances of actually getting laid and acing our classes with the least work possible. oh, the frustration, the insecurity, the arrogance… and the music. while Nine Inch Nails, Tool, and Aphex Twin were the heartkillers, i always left a little bit of room for the cheesier easier shit like Broken Social Scene, the Flaming Lips, Spoon, Bright Eyes, and, of course, the Postal Service.

and last night, they did not disappoint, playing pretty much everything from that old classic album. perhaps my only criticism would be–and this is hardly something they could avoid considering the nature of the music–that half the music shot out of a computer. most of the beats and a lot of the bass, all programmed. it was like watching Ben Gibbard and Jenny Lewis sing karaoke to all their old hits. but who’s complaining?

ironically, exactly six years ago to the night–July 27, 2007–i saw two other musicians do nothing but bob their heads and poke electronic equipment at the very same venue. yup, Daft Punk. freaky coincidence, right? i went w Adam, and that was my very first time seeing the French fuckers electrifying us from atop their mystical pyramid in the fog. instant. crush.

as if that weren’t coincident enough, one of the songs that played while roadies readied the stage for the Postal Service was “Instant Crush,” off of Daft Punk’s latest. my mind just couldn’t handle all the intersections, so after that the universe switched gears and played “Pump Up the Jam.” that made a lot less sense, i was cool w that.

the night before, i went to church:


it was my fifth time djing for the First Church of the Sacred Silversexual and my sixth time seeing them perform. and boy, they killed it. i honestly do believe they get better and better every time i see them, this time truly taking it to the next level with impeccable guitar solos, flying tits, and a great story to follow. praise be.

i especially savored this performance because i had never performed a venue quite as great as the Rickshaw Stop. it’s not actually a very big place, but it’s big enough for me to have seen both Akron/Family and (light of my life, fire of my loins) The Field perform there. so, perpetually thinking “i’m going to dj where The Field once played, i’m going to dj where The Field once played” leading up to the show, i couldn’t help but be overly excited. i think i did alright. disco, funk, and r&b all evening as promised by “Diamant, the Deacon of Funk,” glittery beard and all. beautiful beat matching there, shitty reverbery mixing there, etc etc.

friends of all sorts came out, which made everything that much better. a couple of them–Chris and Xanthe–had seen the spectacle before, but a few of them–Natalie, Morgan, Alison–were virgins bleeding diamond tears for the very first time. it was truly a glorious night.

in fact, it’s been a truly glorious month!


last saturday, i hosted the very first house show at the orange gray! (i know, i know, it’s not as brilliant and clever and catchy as “bermuda,” but what can you do? we’re the fucking orange.) Caroline Rose… is beautiful. she and her boy ate up a third of my living room with their PA, pedals, guitars, and everything else, leaving the rest of the space for over 20 people to get cozy. it was madness. there were even people in the hallway listening to her because her guitar sucked you in, her voice captivated you, suspended you in space, while Jer’s bass or mandolin work made the floating easy. i’m so thankful her whirlwind passed through my home.

also so thankful for the earlier performers, Brendan with his guitars and Natalie with her piano. i definitely found myself rocking the hell out to a couple of Brendan’s tracks and Natalie’s piano… well… it’s Chopin. what do you think happened to my head?

but that’s not how we started partying this month, nope, nope. we started with disco:


Daft Brunch was a success. end of story. thanks to the combined powers of Elliot (w his big, bountiful backyard full of booze), Mark (w his big, booming sound system), Andrew (w his sexy decks and mixer), and myself (w 16″ of spherical mirrors), we channeled our 100+ guests to sunny champagne heaven. disco.

and now? now this month’s coming to a close and a new one’s awaking… w mysterious treasures unseen by me. in exactly four weeks, supposedly, when the moon looks the same as it does today, i will be cruising north w my roomie and my lover toward the heart of the desert… for what? i have no idea. it will cost a lot of money and it will take a lot of planning and work and once i get there, it will be no Malibu, but i am doing it w smiles and eager expectation.

i live for today, but i love tomorrow. Continue reading

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the trip: https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=San+Francisco,+CA&daddr=reno,+nv+to:Twin+Falls,+ID+to:bozeman,+mt+to:Livingston,+Mt+to:Yellowstone+National+Park,+Mammoth+Hot+Springs,+Park,+WY+to:Madison+Campground,+Yellowstone+National+Park,+Yellowstone+National+Park,+WY+to:Grand+Prismatic+Spring,+Grand+Loop+Rd,+Yellowstone+National+Park,+WY+to:Bridge+Bay+to:Black+Dragons+Caldron+to:Grand+Canyon+of+the+Yellowstone+to:Tower+Falls,+Yellowstone+National+Park,+Park,+WY+to:Yellowstone+National+Park,+Mammoth+Hot+Springs,+Park,+WY+to:Silver+Gate,+Cooke+City-Silver+Gate,+Mt+to:Lily+Lake,+wyoming+to:Red+Lodge,+Mt+to:East+Rosebud+Lake+to:Bozeman,+Mt+to:Salt+Lake+City,+UT+to:Cottonwood+Heights,+UT+to:San+Francisco,+CA&hl=en&ll=45.135555,-109.660034&spn=2.332783,4.927368&sll=44.085612,-111.346436&sspn=1.187668,2.463684&geocode=FVJmQAIdKAe0-CkhAGkAbZqFgDH_rXbwZxNQSg%3BFaEsWwIdVcnb-CmdoJKSrkCZgDGH9zh0zsXFQA%3BFZd1iQIdOXct-SmvbrLFpKOsVDGqwfgs7HfLJA%3BFQQTuQId_YBh-SkTiLpPTERFUzGqYDv3ZND1Yw%3BFeK8uAIdLP1o-SkjR6AnvhNFUzFMjIRaJjKWRQ%3BFWdJrgIdn9pm-SmTip7xDdRPUzEivO2MPaFCKg%3BFaw7qQIdLWRk-SHBkZCfc_PzXylp4V9GjMNRUzHBkZCfc_PzXw%3BFSlmpwId_b1k-SFEDigKVP2Vkyn1R8IPvOtRUzFEDigKVP2Vkw%3BFWGNpwIdhCNr-SkDg3iVAx1OUzEd4aKdP0elCw%3BFbrZqAIdaONq-Sk54oy7KB9OUzE57x-bctnMHg%3BFdX9rAIdtsxr-SmLJZWTozZOUzFW-0sS9T6UWA%3BFaAFrQIdAKBr-SnZG8ZgqDZOUzE6nzHh-HWx9Q%3BFWdJrgIdn9pm-SmTip7xDdRPUzEivO2MPaFCKg%3BFSTArgIdA7Fx-SnXSLRtWFROUzEXWfq8dJ9Jhw%3BFZnWrQIdkPB1-Sn7L_MIfPpOUzE4M1PUmK_Vrw%3BFfJ6sQIdmwZ9-Sn1_Eb3GSpPUzEL1yB19jWKtQ%3BFcGosQIdGvp2-SnBGDBmxRhPUzFD9bOX3UlzNA%3BFQQTuQId_YBh-SkTiLpPTERFUzGqYDv3ZND1Yw%3BFcv1bQIdma1U-SntMdGIlD1ShzHKMU1IoLdTWw%3BFUzJawIdm9FV-SknMety2mJShzFAIhqeYpUiBw%3BFVJmQAIdKAe0-CkhAGkAbZqFgDH_rXbwZxNQSg&oq=san+fr&t=h&mra=ls&z=8 Continue reading

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who can judge me?

in which the Hero doesn’t give a shit. Continue reading

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words sound; or, celery [archive]

dedicated from Surfer Girl to Kitchen Hips, who wrote half this poem though she only half realizes it.

i am facing the sun and sit on my hams, hair in my face, pen in my hand. tongue in my mouth. i take my shoes off and my toes touch the grass, cold and ready. i don’t want the circle to go just yet but it’s dipping, blinking out of sight, and i decide:

i’m going to say things
just for the sake of saying them. i have
a deadline and so do you, to
chomp and say
cut and say
splice and say
carve and say
slice and say
chunk and say
chink and say
order, box, ship, and save.

sipping on a Neil Young island ice tea, i
chat with myself: “the universe
is such
7:11 PM
words fail
for once, i totally agree
once and for all
i mean
it just IS”
our fundamental lack of understanding

For the Kingdom! And the Power! And the Glory! Are Yours! Now! And For Ever!
hey man,
you sound like the sun. . .

For the Kingdom! And the Power! And the Glory! Are Yours! Now! And For Ever!
hey man,
you taste like Zeus. . .

For the Kingdom! And the Power! And the Glory! Are Yours! Now! And For Ever!
hey man,
you look like the Buddha. . .

For the Kingdom! And the Power! And the Glory! Are Yours! Now! And For Ever!
hey man,
you kind of resemble tom cruise. . .

There is also an interesting observation that a resentful elephant would abort its fetus if it fed on the young shoots of bamboo, one of the earliest references to a plant toxin.

just kidding, i’m incredibly

theory: words that word what words can word
theorem: what you have when you have more than one theory
law: an excuse to kill
fact: a place to build things
hypothesis: an illness preserved for the weak, skeptics

though i doubted the validity

the other day a friend told me that this professor had professed how an historian of old related the tale of an ancient and wise philosopher-king who once sang,

like when taking a bite out of an orange expecting milk
like when pressing play on a record player expecting the Renaissance

the cold vinyl Earth vibrates everything
but heat, singing the same
lyric: uh!
let me see you shake in your boots
going back to the old school
back to your roots

before an apartment
it was a museum, religious science
it was a church
it was temple
it was a minaret
it was a church
a minaret, a pantheon of trinities trinities

the first magic trick
i ever learned:
defining the number 3:
everything that comes before now,
now, and everything that comes after
now. a greybeard
in the audience heckles me,
silently says, “hogwash,”
like an H-bomb.

ok, i’m flipping through the deck, tell me if you see your card:

. . .loser psychologists, nerdy psychiatrists, punk professors, jock surgeons, intellectual dentists, artist writers, alternative reporters, hipster consultants, geeky technicians, bro lawyers, gangsta programmers, kandi kid designers, stoner djs, pusher cooks, hippie gardeners, dissenting carpenters, bum farmers, yuppy biologists, goth chemists, suits physicists, biker astronauts, athlete librarians, tripping athletes, clubbing architects, slutty natural resource managers, nudist shoreline planners, mountaineer geologists, hedonist politicians, filthy rich nymphomaniac thief poets, drunk jewelers, savage dealers, popper artists, skating musicians, surfing actors, dancing talk show hosts, baller rangers, high-rolling cops, star firemen, lurks fashion designers, leeches teachers, creepers physicians, straight arrows, slob bouncers, go-getting bartenders, prankster secretaries, stealing salespeople, thinkers drivers, activist models, juicers investors, bitches bakers, animal business owners, god baristas, being plumbers. . .

. . .niet . . .niet

Turkish kiss

. . .niet . . .niet

dancing trains, contagious
singing trains, contagious
trains in motion, contagious
people in motion, contagious
sand dunes, contagious
static tanks, contagious
shadows in motion, contagious
tanks in motion, contagious
water in motion, contagious
writing is motion, contagious

. . .niet . . .niet

the next part of my lecture is called, “be perfect and don’t give a damn:”

. . .niet . . .niet

i have time.
to kill.
i have.
time to kill.

. . .niet . . .niet

singer soldiers
soldier singers

. . .niet . . .niet

sing to a mirror, mirror to a dance

. . .niet . . .niet

a gash, a cake, a fire, a bugle
a gash, a cake, a fire, a bugle
a gash, a cake, a fire, a bugle
a gash, a cake, a fire, a bugle

. . .niet . . .niet

fornication and blood,
iron and blood,
burning in water,
drowning in flame!
putting faith in appearances
rock, the epitome
trash can deep within
found in a stairwell

no, that’s not it,
not the one i’m looking for,

realizing rainbows may not
have anything in common with homosexuality
is like
realizing that a dirty black vagabond
named Lead Belly
can slice you to
your knees as quickly as
Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart

gurgle gurgle gurgle–the sound of me
choking on coffee

enough theory, let’s go downtown!

once the Dean of students took so much laughing gas that he exploded, and for 13.73 (+/- 0.12) billion years he expanded on the nature of nature, but, too distracted by swirling, burning bowls and discs, i missed the most of it, but caught the


“and there just is infinity! and that’s all the universe is! acting out this one point in time. . . that’s what it feels like. . . i’m still fucking. . .”
even now?
“yo! it’s what fucking happens. and i really do believe. . . i can’t control me not saying that shit. that’s what occurs to me.”
well that’s what laughing gas is supposed to do, right?
make you laugh?
choking gas?
make you choke!
tear gas?
make you cry!
natural gas?
everything i say is
only natural,
forgive me,

lazy crickets, two hours forty-five minutes and you.

you, i pissed off your balcony without even asking,
and you, i didn’t even call when i flew to your Europe,
and you, i pretended i didn’t even speak ni una palabra,
and you, i couldn’t read bass clef even with your basement keys,
and you, even i haven’t lied to you once, San Francisco frantic,
or you,

Dr. Seuss, never
let me drink again:
“i sane am.
i am sane.
am i sane.
am sane i.
sane am i.
sane i am.”

dare i speak?

double dog scared,
Rexroth rockets haunt me,
Kitchen Hip hollers hold me,
no, no,
this isn’t
more of that beat bullshit,
i’m kraken-inspired, nothing-induced,

i’m an oxycontin-picking moron,
“i cannot speak,”
but i get by. i’m a Venture Capitalist,
all in CTRL.

it’s a long way to the moon, i know
it’s a long way to the sun, i know


concerning conversing distance:

howl to commune with the one,
scream to commune with the other. Continue reading

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Shelter from the Storm / Buckets of Rain [archive]

so here’s the story.

i just woke up about half an hour ago from drunk dreams of Joseph Frewer, the catholic church, tits, and constant roadtrips: my friends and i, always, driving here and there and everywhere.

and i woke to a fucking crazy rain.

it’s pouring a shallow West and–holy shit: West should be capitalized. North. East. South. and West. the West is the Best. the West is a very definite thing and i believe it to be the Best. i only believe in capitalizing very definite things. besides the title of this blog post, which is all caps for purely aesthetic reasons. also i capitalize things when quoting other people, because who am i to impose my capitalist tendencies on others?

i told my mom about the rain and she texted me “Poetry in motion. Cliche but true.” word, mom.

but, seriously, the rain. the rain! listen to it fall. watch it fall. it’s like looking into a mirror. it’s like watching the sun rise seven billion times a second. it’s like swimming in air. i need a rain partner. i want someone to come dance in the rain with me every time it rains. i want to get naked in it and run. even when it’s not raining.

do you understand how privileged we are, just to be able to enjoy the rain? i can mean so many things by that statement and i mean all of them.

can i read you a poem? will you listen? are you listening? who is speaking? who is listening? can i read you a poem? can i read you two poems? i promise they’re short:


I am a man with no ambitions
And few friends, wholly incapable
Of making a living, growing no
Younger, fugitive from some just doom.
Lonely, ill-clothed, what does it matter?
At midnight I make myself a jug
Of hot white wine and cardamon seeds.
In a torn grey robe and old beret,
I sit in the cold writing poems,
Drawing nudes on the crooked margins,
Copulating with sixteen year old
Nymphomaniacs of my imagination.


Take care of this. It’s all there is.
You will never get another.

how hard is it to start your own monastery? instead of doing what normal (i hear Adam, others, screaming “””””””nOrMaL+?!#?$%?!?$!?$$^^??”””””””) people do after they graduate, i just want to create this monastery in San Francisco, but, give me a second. it’s hard to describe what i want from this monastery because i want it to closely resemble the universe, whose inhabitants hate and love each other equally and infinitely. basically, lesbians, men, woman, gays, dogs, birds, computers, bros, punks, suits, whatever, whoever will be allowed to join. no restrictions there. and we are tax-exempt because we believe, we believe in each other. and, when we’re not buying eggplant and eggs and olives and honey and tea and milk and cheese and rose jam with the money we receive from donations, we write poetry. or listen to music. or talk to each other. but most of us realize that there’s not too much to say, so we mostly just sit and think. also, most of us realize that there’s not too much to think about, besides everything, so we mostly just sit. except that some of us experience the prods and pokes of the Earth too ungently, so we cannot sit but we can run and jump and climb. and so we stay there our whole lives, feasting on the glory of the stars, with regard to one in particular, and then we’ll die, corroding into the ground, dusting off the top layer of this rock and sleeping, while our children play dirty, dirty disco music and stamp their feet on our body. Continue reading

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These are the music and pictures of the most ancient religion. [archive]

that’s a Ralph Waldo Emerson quotation extracted from underneath a collection of words written by John Muir on how “All the World Seems a Church”:

This I may say is the first time I have been at church in California, led here at last, every door graciously opened for the poor lonely worshipper. In our best times everything turns into religion, all the world seems a church and the mountains altars.

i’ve often felt this exact thing. open the religious text of your choosing to any page and marvel at the astounding quantity of ALLs and EVERYTHINGs and ONEs that human beings have lassoed into one small section for the purpose of representing the omnipresence and pervasiveness of God. would the world be different if everybody followed in Muir’s footsteps and bowed in Nature’s Temple, instead of at the Temple of Athena/God/Hubbard?

You are going on a strange journey this time, my friend. I don’t envy you. You’ll have a hard time keeping your heart light and simple in the midst of this crowd of madmen. Instead of the music of the wind among the spruce-tops and the tinkling of the waterfalls, your ears will be filled with the oaths and groans of these poor, deluded, self-burdened people. Keep close to Nature’s heart, yourself; and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean from the earth-stains of this sordid, gold-seeking crowd in God’s pure air. It will help you in your efforts to bring to these people something better than gold. Don’t lose your freedom and your love of the Earth as God made it.

i don’t think i’ve lost my freedom or my love of the Earth. in fact, i think every year my freedom doubles and my love triples. check up on me in a year, if you’d like. at the phrase “better than gold,” my already well-trained ears of CA poetry ring like buzzers, but i don’t want to rush to class to share my revelation. i want to run north, to the mountains, never to be found again:

Although I was four years at the University, I did not take the regular course of studies, but instead picked out what I thought would be most useful to me, particularly chemistry, which opened a new world, and mathematics and physics, a little Greek and Latin, botany and geology. I was far from satisfied with what I had learned, and should have stayed longer. Anyhow I wandered away on a glorious botanical and geological excursion, which has lasted nearly fifty years and is not yet completed, always happy and free, poor and rich, without thought of a diploma or of making a name, urged on and on through endless, inspiring, Godful beauty.

But I was only leaving one University for another, the Wisconsin University for the University of the Wilderness.

can i do the same? could i do the same? what are the costs? i am no knave when it comes to shopping for an education to not see that every institution has its costs. will the Wilderness accept me? where will i live? how will i live? will i make new friends? how long is a term? does poetry exist in nature?

No Sierra landscape that I have seen holds anything truly dead or dull, or any trace of what in manufactories is called rubbish or waste; everything is perfectly clean and pure and full of divine lessons. This quick, inevitable interest attaching to everything seems marvelous until the hand of God becomes visible; then it seems reasonable that what interests God may well interest us. When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. One fancies a heart like our own must be beating in every crystal and cell, and we feel like stopping to speak to the plants and animals as friendly fellow mountaineers. Nature as a poet, an enthusiastic workingman, becomes more and more visible the farther and higher we go; for the mountains are fountains–beginning places, however related to sources beyond mortal ken.

perhaps my question might be better restated as “can poetry exist outside of nature?” we, it, one. how can we write about that which exists outside of nature when we, it, live within it, through it, by it, with it, and for it. it is why we are we. as time goes on and i see my blank page with space increase, i realize the futility of my own words and wonder at the quaking confidence in the language of this famous mountain man.

At half-past two o’clock of a moonlit morning in March, I was awakened by a tremendous earthquake, and though I had never before enjoyed a storm of this sort, the strange thrilling motion could not be mistaken, and I ran out of my cabin, both glad and frightened, shouting, “A noble earthquake!” . . . as if Nature were wrecking her Yosemite temple, and getting ready to build a still better one.

[To calm one visitor’s fears] I said, “Come, cheer up; smile a little and clap your hands, now that kind Mother Earth is trotting us on her knee to amuse us and make us good.” In this work of beauty, every boulder is prepared and measured and put in its place more thoughtfully than are the stones of temples. If for a moment you are inclined to regard these taluses as mere draggled, chaotic dumps, climb to the top of one of them, and run down without any haggling, puttering hesitation, boldly jumping from boulder to boulder with even speed. You will then find your feet playing a tune, and quickly discover the music and poetry of these magnificent rock piles–a fine lesson; and all Nature’s wildness tells the same story–the shocks and outbursts of earthquakes, volcanoes, geysers, roaring, thundering waves and floods, the silent uprush or sap in plants, storms of every sort–each and all are the orderly beauty-making love-beats of Nature’s heart.

take that, Haiti.

oh, but i’m only kidding. that’s not at all what Muir meant. he means that only natural disasters in natural places, like Yosemite, are beautiful. in human places, like San Francisco and Haiti, they are tragedies. in Yosemite, Nature places her boulders more carefully than a skilled chess player places his queen. in Haiti, Nature just wasn’t paying attention. she had been idly waiting to go to lunch with her best friend, Time, when her elbow had slipped off the table, irritating her funny bone to immeasurable ends; in her squealing and cursing, 150,000 people dove into the soil, eyes gagged, ears blinded.

It seems strange that visitors to Yosemite should be so little influenced by its novel grandeur, as if their eyes were bandaged and their ears stopped. Most of those I saw yesterday were looking down as if wholly unconscious of anything going on about them, while the sublime rocks were trembling with the tones of the mighty chanting congregation of waters gathered from all the mountains round about, making music that might draw angels out of heaven. Yet respectable-looking, even wise-looking people were fixing bits of worms on bent pieces of wire to catch trout. Sport they called it. Should church-goers try to pass the time fishing in baptismal fonts while dull sermons were being preached, the so-called sport might not be so bad; but to play in the Yosemite temple, seeking pleasure in the pain of the fishes struggling for their lives, while God is preaching the sublimest water and stone sermons!

did somebody say sublime? words associated with the sublime: grandeur, unconscious, anything, sublime, rocks, trembling, tones, mighty, chanting, congregation, waters, mountains, music, angels, heaven, worms, trout, fonts, sermons, Yosemite, temple, pleasure, pain, struggling, lives, God, sublimest, water, stone, sermons. words not associated with the sublime:. words: Bouree, Handel, Jeanne, Lamon, Music, for, the, Royal, Fireworks, 7, 1749. word: n., a sound, usually one with a semantic association. semantics: the study of the study. study: the lack of sheer silence.

When the avalanche started I threw myself on my back and spread my arms to try to keep from sinking. Fortunately, though the grade of the canyon is very steep, it is not interrupted by precipices large enough to cause outbounding or free plunging. On no part of the rush was I buried. I was only moderately embedded on the surface or at times a little below it, and covered with a veil of back-streaming dust particles; and as the whole mass beneath and about me joined in the flight there was no friction, though I was tossed here and there and lurched from side to side. When the avalanche swedged and came to rest I found myself on top of the crumpled pile without a bruise or scar. This was a fine experience . . . This flight in what might be called a milky way of snow-stars was the most spiritual and exhilarating of all the modes of motion I have ever experienced. Elijah’s flight in a chariot of fire could hardly have been more gloriously exciting.

“[And after the wind, the avalanche, the earthquake, the fire] a sound of sheer silence.” ~Elijah Continue reading

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Roma [archive]

weird. the title of my first post of the semester was entitled ATHINA and now this.

~~~~~ Day One ~~~~~

we arrived in Roma in the evening, extremely briefly considered the option of not renting a car and taking the metro instead, and loaded into our 5-day avis rental. we found the hotel after not too much trouble, parked, moved in, and went for a little walk to the fontana di trevi:

this is the fountain you’re supposed to throw some coins into to guarantee that someday you’ll return to Roma. i saved the ritual for my last day. we found a restaurant nearby, where i ate an eggy spaghetti carbonara, washing it down with a fancy bottle of merlot that billy picked out. afterwards we got some coffee and made our way back to the hotel, situated in the citadella di vaticano and a two minute walk from san pietro.

many themes for my weekend were set in this night alone. first: the food, delicious. second: the coffee, delicious. third: the art, Greek. i couldn’t look at anything without seeing a Greek temple. maybe i’m putting too much into it, but it amazes me that this city consumed the style so wholeheartedly and TWICE at that. oh, Athina.

i also quickly learned that my parents didn’t come to Roma to see ruins and sites and such, but mostly to shop and eat, because they’ve seen all the other stuff enough times. so i tried to take some control in navigating us where i wanted to go.

~~~~~ Day Two ~~~~~

this was taken in the lobby of our hotel, after a delicious 9am breakfast that would be repeated every day: cafe e latte, bread with butter and jam, and a sweet pastry. pretty awesome breakfast in my opinion.

first event of the day: cappella sistina.

my parents are so cool and see the chapel alll the time, so they wandered around while billy and i took in the arts that the vatican museum had to offer. tons of Egyptian art:

strange theatrical masks that would come back later to haunt some more:

after the Egyptian art, this is the hall that we faced:

they literally crammed sculptures, varying in size and detail and completeness, shoulder to shoulder, every inch down the sides of this hall. i couldn’t stop taking pictures of any that interested me (a ton). plus, i got on this thing where i would take a picture of every image of Athena… she’s beautiful, how could i not?

here are those faces again:

after slowly but not too slowly eating that hall alive, we stepped into the inner courtyard:

after seeing all that white, a giant modern art piece in a bronzish metal will captivate you. this thing sat in the very center of the courtyard, spinning around nice and easy. is it an atom? the world? the universe? maybe it’s the catholic church. check out the dome of san pietro in the background:

to the left from the dome your eye catches a massive fucking sculpture of a head! oh my lord i couldn’t not think of evangelion:

continuing on the path, we find ourselves in another grand hall of marble, filled of course, with a million Athena’s:

here i, a peasant, look up the glorious brazen body of Herakles:

i finally couldn’t take it and asked billy to take a picture of me and my divinity together. she shines:

as we walked slowly into a room full of tapestries, you saw this on the floor:

i swear you couldn’t even walk in this building without staring at your feet, the walls, the doorways, the ceilings, everything. my favorite part of any tapestry we saw there (remember, this is like 1/20 of the whole tapestry, depicting some epic scene no doubt:

this was in the more modern art section, immediately preceding the actual sistine chapel. who can resist having a giggle at the bishop fatter than any lounging cow?

the truly absurd thing about this museum is the experience of walking past millennia of art, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Renaissance, copies, copies, copies, black, white, gold, gilded, glorious, halls, courtyards, massive rooms, stairs, everything, art, everywhere, art, that when you actually arrive in the sistine chapel, this is how you feel: oh.

trust me, though, that’s just the initial feeling. i let the vacant “oh” escape me and just stared. stared at the ceiling and the walls and it just kind of enwraps you. so much is going on, so much christianity, so much bible, so much bullshit and murder and birth and creation and destruction and lies, burning, hurtling, fleeing, flying, dying, and oh, the humanity! after all, the painter was only a man, just like the guy (or girl) who put this up:

i saw that on the wall in the shopping district right near the piazza di spagna. i’m not quite sure exactly what’s being said, but i know exactly what’s being said. oh, it’s complicated but not really. GUCCI GUCCI GUCCI GUCCI GUCCI PRADA PRADA PRADA PRADA PRADA BVLGARI BVLGARI BVLGARI BVLGARI BVLGARI BVLGARI BVLGARI BVLGARI. i wonder if i’ll ever enjoy shopping that much. my dad, on a mad hunt for a wallet, my mom passively checking out purses, billy generally looking for cool shit, all i wanted was for Animal Collective to come, but Shanleigh hadn’t called me yet. after exponentially worrying over the next couple hours, she finally gave me a call and easily explained her non-callingness away by telling she had a crazy night. so good to hear. within the hour we met at the obelisk in st. peter’s basilica:

pre-concert festivities involved a hapless wander towards the original gate to Roma (and its beautiful piazza on the opposite side), panini, cappuccino, and a whiskey and coke. finishing our whiskeys, we crossed the street to catch the bus to the show. Shanleigh had perfect directions and we still got lost. we got off at the third stop, like she had written down, but soon realized we were not where we were supposed to be. we stared at a map for about ten minutes when a couple walked past us. a second later the guy comes back to us and says, “you’re lost.” apparently he had been on the bus that we took and had realized that the bus driver didn’t know where the hell to go (apparently this happens a lot in Roma), so we had a little walk to get back on the track. we walked with him a little bit and he pointed us in the right direction. awesome Italian.

Animal Collective was Abductive. the venue looked kind of whack. there was nothing really wrong with the space, it was dark, the lights were cool, it was small, the stage and the setup was really simple, fillmore-like. but it formed only a small part of this massive complex of theaters, which on the whole reminded me of something straight out of the inland empire, dare i say, victoria gardens? that aside, Shanleigh and i drank beers and bobbed to pantha du prince, who we decided had some sweet beats, but that may have only come down to one beat that he played the whole time. decent opener.

Animal Collective came on like three minutes later. no bullshit.

Avey Tare


Panda Bear

i wasn’t close enough to get any good photos but my ears were rocked to high heaven. here’s the set list:

Banshee Beat
Also Frightened
??? panda bear singing high-pitch, “blah once blah” ???
Summertime Clothes
??? fucked beat starts “I know” ???
My Girls
Guys Eyes
Lion in a Coma
Brother Sport
Leaf House

when i realized that they were opening with bb, my fucking veins started producing ecstasy naturally. it took me so long to recognize it in its slowed-down state, but as soon i got it i never lost it.

normal: i duck out go down to find the swimmingggppooooooolllllllllllllllllllllll

live: iiiiiiii duuuuuuccckkk outtttttttt go ooo o o down to findddd theee swimmmiiiiiiiinnngggggggggggp pppoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllllllllllllll llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

i get shivers.

Adam: excuse this exploding. i was thinking about you the whole time and how unworthy i felt, seeing these guys carve love in our ears with plastic boxes, knowing full well that you would appreciate it so much more than i. they played so much MPP, which was cool for me–i’ve been listening to that album a ton. i wish i could have identified the other two songs in the set, especially since it’s pretty unlikely that any bootlegs of this show will come out. we can hope.

man, this band has really taken me though. before i left for the trip, i made a playlist called ROMA compiling everything by the band and everything by its individual members. the total playlist came out to 150 songs and almost 15 hours of music. it’s the only thing my ipod played all weekend long. i started the trip putting the whole thing on shuffle and just continued it from where i left off the previous time. my ears had a weekend long Animal Collective fiesta. i know this kind of thing is pointless, but here’s a current favoring of my for some of the main albums:

  1. Person Pitch (perfect)
  2. Feels (beautiful)
  3. Merriweather Post Pavilion (very easy to get into)
  4. Sung Tongs (stripped down, tribal)
  5. Panda Bear (highly minimal, interesting first release)
  6. Hollinndagain (absolutely intensely ridiculous, i must must must must listen more)
  7. Campfire Songs (needs more listens)
  8. Strawberry Jam (some solid songs, but nothing like F/MPP/ST)
  9. Here Comes the Indian (i think my copy’s fucked, but it sounds good)
  10. Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished (i need to listen)
  11. Danse Manatee (always thought these ones were the most boring)
  12. Split #16 (interesting, experimental)
  13. Young Prayer (interesting, i really need to give this one a listen if i’m really as in love with Panda Bear as i say i am)

definitely Brother Sport turned out to be the crowd favorite. i hope you’ve heard a live version of this song because, as Adam so kindly showed me, the album version is a poor filtration of the beast that is the live performance. they just rock so hard and everyone feels the beat in the ends of their toes, everybody moved. you just can’t not dance. with Leaf House, as an encore, the rest of my night laid in utter bliss.

merry5ckids post collective, Shanleigh and i walked back to her apartment with buzzes and fuzz and chicken cuts swinging across our neurons. i love concerts. unfortunately, getting back to her apartment late, the front guard wouldn’t let us hang out. we begged and he asked, “whaddya guys going to do up there?” Shanleigh: “have a bowl of cereal!” and we burst out laughing (but it was true! can’t a couple of good kids enjoy some rock music and cheerios anymore?). well eventually he decided to let me up for fifteen minutes. Shanleigh concocting a bowl of cheerios:

after our sweet fifteen minutes together, i gave her a goodbye hug worth about half a year. wandering around foreign cities at 3am is the greatest thing ever and i advise everybody to do it. seriously. i found my way eventually, grabbed a delicious one euro cappuccino on the way, and passed out quickly at the hotel.

~~~~~ Day Three ~~~~~

following the standardly fantastic hotel breakfast, this is where my day began:

i’m sure this has been expressed a million times, but christian or not, one cannot help but feel something walking through this outstanding building. the magnificence of the architecture, the monolithic towering sculptures, the gilded everything astonishes one’s sense. the sublimity literally blows through the air.

at the same time, it is the central building for the catholic church, and so feelings of bitterness of course rose up. i suppressed them for the most part, for my parents’ sake, but i couldn’t stop feeling such hatred for the skyscraping wealth surrounding me, wealth completely owned by an institution that supposedly bases all its teachings on those of Jesus Christ. i see some sort of complex irony there, but i don’t really care to unfurl it. how about i just show you this?

that’s right. somehow Athena infiltrated the church. look at her, armed to the tee. i think she’s just bearing the hypocrisy for as long as she can stand, before stepping down from her pedestal to purify the place.

back outside, it was business as usual, making our way to the castel sant’angelo.

Budapest certainly had an impressively large river running through it, crossed by big pretty bridges, but the comparatively small river going through Roma has its own excellent charm. and if it doesn’t, the bridges make up for it, anyway. walking through the city….

across the street, some ruins brought me back to Athina:

a little more walking and we stopped at a corner to have some pizza and beer. eating outside, this lay in front of us literally right across the street:

i don’t know what it’s called or where it is or anything except that my parents say that mussolini gave a big speech there. zooming in a little closer.. oh honey.

SUCH a delicious mushroom pizza and a warmly pleasing but not especially great beer. after lunch we walked all along the ruins of the ancient agora towards this famous symphony:

from wiki: “It has been estimated that about 500,000 people and over a million wild animals died in the Colosseum games.” awesome. i love dead people and dead animals and games. i made my family walk around the whole thing, because i wanted to be able to take it in in all its mammoth glory. following the beast, we went to too many churches. i was getting churched out. san pietro in vincoli was an interesting one.

from wiki: “Also known as the Basilica Eudoxiana, it was first built in 432-440 to house the relic of the chains that bound Saint Peter when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem. According to legend, when the Empress Eudoxia (wife of Emperor Valentinian III) gifted the chains to Pope Leo I, while he compared them to the chains of St. Peter’s final imprisonment in the Mamertine Prison in Rome, the two chains miraculously fused together. The chains are kept in a reliquary under the main altar in the basilica.” que ridiculo. but, there they are, chains in a pretty eerie box. you believe it or you don’t, i guess. far more immediately interesting was this sculpture on the left side of the church’s interior:

AH! Death! creepy, but awesome. somebody must’ve been absolutely sick of sculpting perfectly proportional human bodies. or maybe they realized that marble white suits bones way more than skin. who knows. look at how pious this guy is:

such an epic day. your legs and eyes go first after you visit ten churches each the size of six sperm whales. so this is what you look like waiting for the metro:

back at the hotel, i lay down, threw on my AC playlist and had a nice 1.5 hour animal nap. i think this may have been when i acquired a new favorite Animal Collective song: Forest Gospel – Hollinndagain. that is the main reason i want to explore that album more. following half a minute of loud chaos, soft chaos with a simple pattern follows: only my best friends use the coke. pot. crack. rea-dy…….nsahtdiiiaaduitnahoidanthoiao. i don’t know i just love it. look it up.

when i finally awoke, my awesome parents bought me a solo ticket into a performance of La traviata in this church:

i don’t think i’d ever listened to anything from the opera, but i knew that it was a popular favorite of verdi’s. i’m so happy i went, even if i did go by myself. who can resist 2.5 hours of beautiful and tragic opera in Roma? i couldn’t. it also gave a nice edge in my ears juxtaposed next to the excessive Animal Collective feast. the leading male and female were absolutely entrancing, but i think the girl caught my ears more. i thought about this a lot while i sat in my seat. maybe i just preferred the girl because a girl’s voice appeals to me more. anyway, i don’t know a damn thing about opera but i like it.

~~~~~ Day Four ~~~~~

i had crazy fucking dreams. trying to describe them days later seems almost futile, but here are my notes from my iphone:

ceremony to destroy ancient ruins let the riots begin chasing girl with triangle rock, take Meryl (gf/mom) to Karen’s for wine, article about couples choking hotel managers just look dismay, patrick sends me gay porn

Jesus! he wants nothing to do with that crown! don’t you people see?! ah, whatever. i ate my traditional hotel breakfast, visited a glammed up church with a glammed up messiah (the only kind worth worshipping), and then (after a brief stop at the olympic stadium, for billy) my family began our day trip to southern Italy.

BUT HOW COULD YOU NOT STOP AT A SHOPPING OUTLET FIRST????? oh dear. adidas ferrari gucci apple starbucks daftpunk nike victory athena hell vangelis sell sell sell. AMAZINGLY, i was the only one of the four to actually buy something. i got some sweet white adidas sneakers for real cheap. thanks dad! but here is really why i’m going south: a volcano!

my parents tried to content me with seeing the ruins of Pompeii from outside the archaeological site’s gates, but i’m a stupid spoiled brat and was not having any of that. so they paid the entrance for billy and i.

billy epically walking into the main attraction (for me):

i can’t believe i was here.

is it weird that i’m as excited (if not more) about something that happened here 40 years ago than i am as the “main” event, 2000 years ago? i don’t think so. i mean, it’s fucking Pink Floyd for chrissake! e c h o e s. those couples sitting all peacefully made me wish i had a girl to roll around in the grass with. oh well. but this place seriously blew my mind. look at these murals, still intact, in what was probably some rich asshole’s house:

rich dude’s boulevard:

rich dude, others:

it really had an interesting effect on me, to walk around a place so peaceful, imagining the terror that had to occur to allow us to see it in its current state. oh Vesuvius. you devil:

after the ruins, billy and i met up with our parents to drive down to battipaglia, a place famous for its amazing cheese.

we had a ball stuffing ourselves with wet balls of mozzarella. so unbelievably delicious. as outstandingly pleasing as it was, a few balls of cheese only really work as a dunch/linner, so back in Roma we went out for some delicious pasta and wine, somewhere near a giant artsy plaza with a fountain involving calamaricide:

with our bellies slushing, we made our way to the Pantheon, just a short walk away.

i was going crazy wondering about the history behind it. i didn’t know a thing and neither did anyone else. it was just beautiful and ancient.

~~~~~ Day One ~~~~~

thankfully, after mostly saying goodbye to the hotel balcony and breakfast for good….

..we went back to the Pantheon for a day visit!

for an ancient Roman temple, it seemed pretty clean. and it should have been pretty obvious based on the place’s name, temple to all the gods, what this place was. but most bizarrely, the only reason it’s still in such condition still is because the church adopted it around the 7th century. i mean, fuck the church, but thank god for it, every once in awhile. still, it’s weird with the signs saying “this is a holy place” and the holy water and people praying and people trying to pray and people pretending to try to pray, it’s just weird. who are they praying to? can i pray to Nature or Cthulhu? what’s the big deal here, anyway? the ceiling!

can’t you just imagine something divine filtrating through that hole? well maybe it was, because tons of people were taking pictures, walking around and whispering, and acting generally taken aback. beside themselves. etc etc. what a hole. my Roma trip was coming to a close.

of course, i had to return to the trevi. hopefully the less money you throw, the more likely you are to return. i threw in a 10 euro cent with stunning Venus glimmering off of one side of the coin. i drank my last delicious cappuccino, stood around for a little more shopping, walked back to the hotel with my family, who very nicely and needlessly drove me to the airport, and a few more hits of Animal Collective later, i was back in HELLAS. Continue reading

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public domain [archive]

i think my art/archaeology class might be my favorite here. the things we discuss, the topics my professor emphasizes in his lectures always stick with me throughout the day. i always want to share them with you.

today we discussed the emergence of the Public Domain in classical Greece. once again, my close friends see me drooling at the sight of such a phrase, which brings to mind the goliath struggle of Lessig and his progressive license, Creative Commons, battling against the bloodthirstily raging armies of fat rich white people currently focusing on the takedown of one of the greatest websites on the internet. good luck to you, fuckers.

rewinding 2500 years, we find a feast of a culture developing in which all the citizens dine. after discussing how the Greeks invented the first true alphabet (and i tripped out on how i could possibly have never noticed that we say ALPHA-VITA, the first two letters of the Greek alphabet), our professor emphasized that this was a society in which everyone was literate. an archaeologist recently uncovered thousands of etchings in the rock in the mountainside; one read, “my name is ***** and i am a shepherd,” dating from about 750 BC. ridiculous.

even religion was public. religions today, as the religion then, have sacred spaces. christian churches are beautiful and epic and mass is held by a professionally trained priest. Greek sanctuaries had temples, but their sole purpose was to house the image of the god, to please the god. nothing at all took place in the temple. instead, you would go to the altar, in the open air, and make your offering there. as a citizen, you could do this whenever you wanted, without bothering with any religious bureaucracy like the kind that pollutes christianity and other major religions today.

the final example of the public domain was to be seen in the military. when the city-state was attacked, the good citizen would pick up his weapon and armor (paid for with his money), bringing food (paid for with his money), and join his fellow citizens to defend his home. though democracy was not inherent in the polis (and didn’t develop until 461), equality for all citizens was inherent. we have an ancient manuscript that reads something like, “Athens is the Athenians.” that quickly reminded me of how people say, “the government is the people,” when talking about the United States. but is that even true? was it ever true? are the people the government, or is our government just the RIAA/MPAA/AAP/Disney/Viacom/Sony/Big Tobacco/Big Oil gang? if i had a six foot spear, i tell you… watch out.

by the way, anything on this blog can be copied, packaged, sold, eaten, drunk, unless you’re going to make money off of it. in that case i’d like some of that money. or at least a box of chocolates or something. maybe. talk to me. of course nothing here is really sellable. maybe i should give advice. advice is usually sellable and i’ve already given a ton away for free today. here, have some advice:

  1. always do what you want
  2. be open about everything
  3. never commit to anyone/anything
  4. never follow advice

if that’s not sellable, i don’t know what is. Continue reading

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