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dreams of home Mar. 27th, 2008 @ 12:27 pm
Wading in the bay, skipping stones, drifting, and talking.

The water was incredibly clear. The entire expanse seemed no more than one or two feet deep, gently rippling, cool and fresh.

The stones were large and smooth, as if from a low stream bed, but mottled in color. [This might have something to do with Davey Jones' Locker from the third Pirates movie...] They were underfoot everywhere, stacked upon each other to unknown depths - though it couldn't really have been that deep, could it?

The sky was blue, with white clouds low to the horizon.

The air was sun-warmed, but a cool breeze kept it easy.

Such places are meant to exist only in dreams...

Current Location: werk
Current Mood: think I'm just happy

Dreams of Home Jan. 3rd, 2008 @ 01:02 pm
Visiting friends in Oregon. The city was hilly, but looked more like some posh Southern California coastal community, except for the weather.

Hanging out in the front-yard of a house with a steep driveway, providing an overview of the way below. My Opa was leaving the bar at the end of the street, accompanied by his drinking buddies - one swarthy-looking, mustachiod gentleman in particular - singing drinking songs as they staggered up the road in their matching fraternal accoutrements. [They wore some kind of gaudy, red vest and a fez to the last. It's the kind of garment that would only be seen on old people, but they somehow manage to pull it off in style.]

My friend came home from the bar with her new boyfriend and was getting into something that looked like a classic Shelby Cobra. Something happened after that, and she got out and come back inside. Her boyfriend was not happy about this development.

It was rainy...

Current Location: werk
Current Mood: think I'm just happy

Well of Souls Dec. 26th, 2007 @ 11:09 pm
Made it to the well the other day. Wasn't sure where it would be found, but the path was made clear to me after a stop along the way. Ellegua was kind, but the place I was guided to was filled with ghosts - still warm from the world.

It was at the Cerrito outcropping, on the rocky peak. The moon was high, but not yet full. The sky was clear and the breeze was blowing bitter cold. Starlight streamed shimmering through the sky, to the leaves, the soil, the eyes.

The outcropping has a steep side, so that the treetops of the old eucalyptus to the West are just out of reach as one rests in the cup of the rock. Their poisoned-blade sythe-leaves curved earthward elegantly, reflecting rich colors, mottled from Prussian green to rust and ochre.

As I said, it was bitter cold, but the ghosts kept me warm inside.

The time was upon me, and words were uttered into the vastness of the star-strewn sky. I asked for the strength to grow beyond my selfishness. I recognized the need to acknowledge selfishness whenever it presents itself, and to find a way to resist it. Things like this are not given in a moment, so I expect no immediate satisfaction. In time, with work and sacrifice, perhaps I will make it.

Songs were sung - words came and went and changed as they passed, but the tune was familiar - the feeling was familiar.

The place was so empty - it felt strange. Few others seem to notice this passing, and no one speaks of it. [Yet volumes are filled in recognition of the Mass of Christ and the western world celebrates the coming of the two-faced Roman god.] Five years from now, it will be well noted, you can be sure of that...

When the time had passed, I made my way back to Tidelands and found the way home. It's hard to explain unless you have made the journey - you can't know where you are going to end up at the time you start - it just doesn't work that way. So, sometimes you walk for miles, sometimes just a short distance. The distance is not important unless this helps you get beyond yourself. It's more about where you end up and how you get there - and, of course, the reason you went in the first place...

Anyway, I'm selfish. Judge me if you will - I don't care. I'm working on it...

Current Location: lab
Current Mood: think I'm just happy
Current Music: Nirvana : Something in the Way

The Republic Dec. 15th, 2007 @ 07:31 am
I should have read this long ago, but have needed time to get through the pile of bad science fiction that I was addicted to for so long.

The Republic is a beautiful work. It is the finest example of deductive reasoning I have ever seen - a guide to the ages seeking to learn the process of logical argument. Even if you disagree with some premise, the work still stands, and the clarity of reasoning itself is amazing.

The work is really about social justice and whether it is better (even more profitable or beneficial to the self) to be just and live according to the laws of society, or better (in the same ways) to be unjust or wicked - a misanthrope.

In order to ascertain the truth of the matter, Socrates is required to construct a society based on and ordered by the conclusions of logical arguments. It is not necessarily perfect, but it is as close to a utopian society as may be constructed anywhere at any time.

I can't effectively summarize The Republic, especially as it's been a while since I read it, but it is definitely worth the time it takes to read.

Current Location: lab
Current Mood: chaotic neutral

Missing Dec. 13th, 2007 @ 02:13 am
Not like I can sleep...

Ellegua opens the way:

Trekked North over the sand - where the earth, sea, and sky meet - where there are no people, but there is so much life. It is a moonless night, but the mist is light, and starlight illuminates the way. There is enough light pollution in some places to blind the eye, yet solace may still be found in the journey. [Then again, maybe not...]

Walked around the Point in the dark, during a rising tide. The rocky outcroppings had been stripped of sand by thick surges, so the way was rough, and much time was spent negotiating the texture of the rock.

Great masses of kelp had washed to shore, each seemingly a forest in itself, to be stranded like some great beast, exhausted by time. Along the mounds, many stalks appeared as jutting ribs, wrapped around the lean and sinewed body, partially buried in the sand.

Heavy stones were strewn over the beaches North of the Point, cast up from the deep during the last several weeks of deep ocean swell.

The bright streams of the Geminids kept me company.

Came back over the bluffs, again climbing in the dark. There is a gap in the trees that suggests a path, and so it is. Once near the edge, the path is the color of rock and dust, rather than life, so is easy to follow. The descent was illuminated by some arc-lamp rated reflector that rendered my night vision useless.

Everything is quiet...

Current Location: lab
Current Mood: think I'm just happy
Other entries
» Broken Angels
Ok, so I have been reading a lot, and not posting reviews. Apologies - not that anyone reads them or cares - been pre-occupied lately - whatever.

Picked up Altered Carbon, by Richard Morgan a while ago. It may best be described: fucking badass.

That lead me to Broken Angels - same Richard Morgan - same fucking badass. I won't even try to summarize, but there was a reference that caught my eye - perhaps subtle, perhaps obvious, depending on who you are. Check it - it goes like this:

[end of paragraph]: It's not quite the golden land of opportunity and adventure that the chroniclers would have you believe.

Who can tell me what movie that references?

Just in case, here's the movie text [advertisement]:

"A new life awaits you in the Off-world colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure...

A new life awaits you in the Off-World Colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure. Lets go to the Colonies!"

[Of course, you have to be able to pass the medical screening...]

For bonus points, who can tell me from what book the movie was derived - author - etc.?

All I can give you in return is the reassurance that you are alive and your mind still functions. Alternately, if you don't get the reference, it doesn't mean anything - sorry to waste your time.

» Well of Souls
This Spring, I went to the well for absolution. I performed the rituals of cleansing and purification, and I made my sacrifice. I sought peace through death and transfiguration. More accurately, I sought peace of mind and an end to the anger and hate that had infected me for so long.

I asked of the Gods yet again - and though all work is sacrifice, and every breath is a prayer, perhaps I ask too much?

Yet, as the child dies, so the man is born. You have to leave yourself behind - from time to time - a shedding of skin. Though, it is not really skin that is shed, is it? So, I asked to be remade - leaving another in a long line of dead souls of many names - aethereal vessels of spirit, adrift in the river of crossing, drawn to the sea of time.

In any case, I failed in some way. The peace did not come. Then again, maybe it did, but it took a season of time, and when it did, it was in unexpected form.

Summer brought with it a gift and a blessing. Yet for every blessing, there is a curse, no? The anger is gone, and hate with it, but there is something in their place. It grows inside of me, breathing life, but also tearing me apart from within.

Now, Winter approaches, and I go to the well again...

» Journey into darkness
Driving home Friday, I somehow missed my turnoff and ended up at the vista point about 2 Km South of Piedras Blancas.

It was already dark, but fairly clear. Light cast from the tall windows at Hearst Castle was bright against the muted hillsides. A fishing trawler was plying the waters, heading Northward over the calm sea. As I approached the bluffs, the gurgling, alien sounds of some water creatures became audible, in a kind of random call and response dialog of echoes intermingled with the quiet rush of waves against the rocks.

I walked South, as there seemed to be a cleared path near the edge. So little light shone that the sandy path blended visually with the jagged edge of the bluff and the rocks below. Movement was best accomplished by braille, which is to say: by letting my feet feel their way. The path continued for some way, but diverged in several places. I chose whatever path seemed best at the time. This is my way...

Given the choice of paths, which is ever-present, but has been gnawing at my mind for some months, I resolved that I should choose the noble path - the honorable path (though I am neither noble nor honorable, I could at least do the right thing for once in my miserable existence). The difficulty lies in a problem that is both difficult to describe and to resolve. In any case, this was accomplished with much reflection on an impression from earlier in the day, and the accumulated neurological detritus of a season of time and company. Honestly, there seemed no other option - there is no real choice, but I can choose to accept this and act accordingly, or to live in denial, which serves no purpose.

There seemed an unusual number of cars on the road that night. They passed swiftly as a gust of wind, with hammering of tires against the road dots as drivers cut into the on-coming lane with the curve of the road around the point. Walking back became difficult because the path wound almost directly toward the bright headlights of Southbound autos, so I had to turn away lest my night vision fail, and the already difficult path prove treacherous.

As you might have guessed, I made it back to the car, and cruised back to the lab. Once here, interesting conversation ensued.

That part sucked. It was as if a rift in the fabric of spacetime transformed my environment by folding experience upon itself in a way that made no sense.

Like you care...

» Playback
Haven't finished it yet, but you know, I already like it. excerpt:

I rolled over gently and sat up and a rattling noise ended in a thump. What rattled and thumped was a knotted tower full of melting ice cubes. Somebody who loved me very much had put them on the back of my head. Somebody who loved me less had bashed in the back of my skull. It could have been the same person. People have moods.

- Raymond Chandler : Playback

Somehow, this helps me carry on living. Otherwise, I feel pretty pathetic. It must look as if I'm hung over, but I tell you, I haven't had a drink in over a week.

It all comes of the blood pumping through my arteries and veins. If it wasn't for that, the furious surges of serotonin, dopamine, norepinepherine, oxytocin, testosterone, and vasopressin that my fucked-up brain is instructing my various glands to release would have no way to travel, and my body and mind would be completely at peace. [Probably not enough oxytocin now that I think about it...] Instead: turbulence, insomnia, inability to concentrate. I feel sick inside.

If the blood stops pumping, the sickness will end.

That's the easy way though...

» Truth: Stranger than fiction? [2]
All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian.

  - Pat Paulsen homage

Now, here's Tex with the metro-news:

Burning chilli sparks terror fear

A pot of burning chilli sparked fears of a biological terror attack in central London.

Firefighters wearing protective breathing apparatus were called to D'Arblay Street, Soho, after reports of noxious smoke filling the air.

Police closed off three roads and evacuated homes following the alert.

Specialist crews broke down the door to the Thai Cottage restaurant at 1900 BST on Monday where they discovered the source - a 9lb pot of chillies.

Read more at the BBC News source

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