25 March 2009

25Mar - Eleni Mandell for no reason

24 March 2009

24Mar- interesting article on feeling stupid
The Importance of Stupidity in Scientific Research

While this article is specifically about feeling stupid in an earning a PHD context, I feel like it works for life in general.

My Tai Chi teacher has spent many years learning and teaching about his art and, as his nature, he loves to know. As a result, he'll dig and research when he has a question. After fifteen something years this doesn't leave a tremendous amount to learn about Tai Chi at the level at which I'm learning it. So, every so often, someone will come up with a question about structure or movement genesis that he finds a challenge to answer or articulate and he enjoys it.

As should we all, within our fields of interest. There will always be more to learn and we should never be content with just our present knowledge.

Humility is a valuable learning device. It's around us at all times, if we are observant enough to see it. Sometimes we encounter it more brusquely. What's important is that we don't fall into that trap of lashing out. I see that a lot. Someone is made to feel foolish or ignorant or incorrect and they get angry. Angry, i suppose, at being made to feel foolish. And it's much easier to attack the person or thing that makes them confront themselves so they do in, I suppose, a variant of misery loves company.

Maybe it's because I've been working with the public for nearly fifteen years in an industry that sends a wide spectrum of people through our doors, as customers, staff, and salespeople. I've encountered humility on many levels. Maybe it's become a self-defense mechanism to learn from it rather than to explode at it. There's something so useless and exhausting about reacting violently at being made to feel humble. I mean, the potential is around every corner, every day. Of course, I still flush and clench my jaw and get that prickly feeling that travels up the back of the neck and base of the throat at the more personal or professional attacks so I'm still working on practicing what I preach.

But there's so much to learn. Wouldn't we be better people if we just learned from our mistakes and our deficiencies?
Pff. What the hell do I know?

22 March 2009

22Mar - kind of what happens when we get backed up

21 March 2009

21mar- bored night of haikus
at first i was going to edit these to avoid seeming like i had less than interesting ones, but to hell with that. the whole process is relevant. I wrote haikus tonight. it was slow, then steady, then slowly steady so i wrote haikus most of the night.
and here they are, in chronological order:

apple pumpkin toast
did not exist until now
when i thought of it

simple opera capes
billow flowingly at night
just before they stop

killing time with words
is not that satisfying
but beats--- now i'm stuck

things autonomic
never take up any thoughts
unless they're of them

hot tea won't wake me
unless i spill it on me
but i don't want to

mexican poems?
is there a cultural form
unique to that place?

that woman's stockings
don't really work on her well
but who will tell her?

as my tea grows cold
i grow less interested
in what it offers

more people arrive
but now i just want to write
more pointless haikus

five syllable words
that are used in common speech
are tough to think of

is a five syllable word.
kind of ironic

more is an option
at any given moment
though rarely offered

a tummy rumbling
is an unhappy tummy
and no-one wants that

gumbo would be nice
with mussels still in the shell
ah, well. we can dream

"thank you, mister mike"
that's what i said to michael
when he gave me food

accidental rhymes
please the eyes as well as mind.
there's not one here, though

four tables right now
and it's already seven
yeah. i guess it's slow

kitchen needs white wine.
won't give up my auxerrois.
so long, sweet riesling

it's pleasant outside
i would be grilling right now
if I weren't working

"The Obvious Child"
the song sung by Paul Simon
is stuck in my head

people should decide
before they make a phone call
what they want to say

marshall's burger meal
makes me all kinds of jealous
because i'm hungry

and quick as a wink
we're a table short of full.
why is it like that?

dimple stack aplomb's
a fidgety jell-o mold
of carnality

wrankle flax the first
is an oily, tumbling dime
that's tantalizing

distance tells a tale
of lost but joyous shallots
sinking with the ship

ichabod tanzer
smells his cup of morning mud
wishing for coffee

miller's tales bore me.
tanner's stories can be fun.
fletchers make me yawn

an abbot stumbles
and to his sad-eyed dismay
finds the ground too hard

when copper finds time
and shoulders his candy lime
there's further to climb

the sleep in my eyes
manifests itself in sighs
and is no surprise

trim the excess fat.
now find a good place for that
do it right now. stat!

"the bill," said the wind
"for all the gusts and the gales
will be in the mail."

a standardized gorge
will be filled not once but twice
and all in a thrice

the things i would do
to have not done what i've done
might not be that fun

gentle was the word
that made all the difference.
i should have said it.

11 March 2009

11March- Closing for St. Pat's, Sat 14

just so you know.

if 5points were like this, i might go
our tempered merriment vocalized with the occasional "huzzah"

08 March 2009

08Mar- holiday-o-matic
But I think it works well as a toast-o-matic


examples: May your yoga class be benign and filled with lords-a-leaping
May your soiree be wonderful and filled with swedish meatballs
may your snowblowing be relaxed and filled with good cheer

06 March 2009

06Mar - most likely about onions
I love onions. Especially raw onions on hoagies, such as the Jimmy John's Gargantuan I'm eating right now, and particularly especially diced raw onions on chili dogs. But, generally speaking, I consume these things before I'm to interact with people so I opt not to get them with the raw onions I love so much. So, to my palate, I frequently end up eating only part of a meal's potential.
So I sit here with a Gargantuan with everything on it, plus some Crayola yellow mustard I added, some jalapeno chips, and a Guiness, and I'm beginning to wonder about the choices I've made.

I'm neglecting my joy for the sake of others, in a certain way. This is not a bad thing. This isn't wrong. In some ways, it is commendable.

But does that mean I'm only truly myself in these quiet moments after work, when it's just a sandwich with onions and me? Is it only when I'm not judged that I allow myself to live? How much of it is me worrying too much what the world would think if I simply threw caution to wind and ordered onions whenever my fancy demanded? But society dictates I'm to be aromatically presentable, which is not what onions can offer me. But society, historically, clutters itself with questionable mores. Would posterity think less of me for ordering onions? Surely not.

Onions have brought me great pleasure. Certainly, under some circumstances, onions have made me weep. Yes, there are times when I have explored beneath the outer layer of an onion to be rewarded by a dichotomy of joy and pain. I have sliced into the crisp, pungent flesh of an onion thinking only of the qualities it will impart when, inevitably, its trauma-induced sulphenic acids create the gas that rises to my eyes and binds to my sensory neurons in a way that makes me cry. And, yes, perhaps there have been times when I have decided to avoid that pain.

But not often and not without the awareness of my weakness.

I should embrace the onion and love it for the pleasure that it brings me. But, like anything else, I cannot abuse it.

For the onion, like each of us, is a layered thing. With many strata. Like a...many layered thing.

02 March 2009

02March - Nina for no reason