February, 2006: 44 posts.
Lazy Sunday morning. Pretty day so far. Everyone asleep for now.
Saw the boy’s basketball game yesterday — not a win, a little disappointing. We need to put up the hoop we got on Freecycle.
Last night Leah, Alison and I went to see Brokeback Mountain. I did not know what expect. I think I expected cheesy melodrama.
Instead, as in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Ice Storm he pulled off something with a great deal of sensitivity — with characters and situations that create empathy and identification beyond what one would think possible.
In particular I think of the Michelle Williams character. She sees her husband doing something entirely unexpected, and she says nothing. She is paralyzed and terrified, and yet she cannot speak. The emotion for me was profound — “If you do not speak, you will never resolve this.” So much sadness in that movie, and I definitely empathize with that feeling of not being able to speak. Something must be said, and yet nothing can be said.
I think of the title of a Harlan Ellison story (novel?) I have no mouth and I must scream. The horrible sensation of having something that must be said and the incapability of saying it.
Not a dry eye in the house, man.
At various times I have and do withhold my thoughts. I cannot speak. I don’t do that anymore. Well, when I do it, It doesn’t last for years or decades anymore, anyway.
Speak your mind. Be yourself. And… Onward.
My TypeKey page was updated: http://profile.typekey.com/artlung/
LiveJournal has changed how they do their urls, so they are all username.livejournal.com. Thus: http://artlung.livejournal.com/ not, of course, that I really hang out over there.
Rhonchi.com is getting comment spam! That was pretty fast. Luckily Spam Karma 2 protects it! There’s more lung-y news out there than I ever could have anticipated. I still have not heard from any RT’s who blog, but c’est la vie. They’ll turn up eventually.
Olivia Rex has put up a few new songs since I last mentioned it. One comparison is Rickie Lee Jones. What do you think of her?
Leah claims I have a crush on Tim from Project Runway. Well, maybe. I’m a sucker for a dry wit.
Does anyone have any questions?
Leah sent me this, it’s a daily email from Loving Each Day:
The vision of togetherness is only possible if two people are willing to deal with it, honestly and without ego.
(From: Relationships: Love, Marriage and Spirit, p. 57)
Not an easy goal.
A lot of them are sort of mushy, but many feel insightful and true.
Eclipse is an open source community whose projects are focused on providing an extensible development platform and application frameworks for building software.
or, “I coulda had 45 Mbps to my home!”
Good Morning Silicon Valley: We thought you said spend the $200 billion on “dark fiber”
…during the buildup to the 1996 Telecommunications Reform Act, the major U.S. telcos promised to deliver fiber to 86 million households by 2006 (we’re talking about fiber to the home, here). They asked for, and were given, some $200 billion in tax cuts and other incentives to pay for it. But the Bells didn’t spend that money on fiber upgrades — they spent it on long distance, wireless and inferior DSL services.
About 10 years ago I dreamed of working in Hollywood. I wanted to direct, of course, but what really fascinated me was postproduction – particularly editing. But also, I loved animation, which meant that I also was fascinated by 3-D animation.
I had first encounted computer animation in about 1986 at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art (now Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego). I loved it. It was mindbending stuff.
I still have the flyer from the 1987 Festival of Animation — Luxo Jr., though I think I saw it at an earlier showing “The Art of Computer Animation.” I was 16 and 17 years old, tooling around San Diego in a beat up seafoam green 1972 Volvo and these animations inspired me to try and do computer graphics. I vividly remember getting shown raytracing demos at San Diego Amiga User’s Group meetings. These were heady times.
I have a binder with flyers of the animation festivals from this era. Some real classics in there! It looks like earlier than Luxo, I had seen Tuber’s Two Step (which I can’t seem to find online at all, sad!) and “The Adventures of Andre and Wally B.” — both in 1986. I love the description of the rendering of Tuber’s:
The works were realized on a VAX 11/780 computer, a Mark 1I 32-bit frame buffer, Symbolics 3670 and/or Evans and Sutherland PS 300 and in-house software.
But I never did any actual 3-D art. I never worked in 3-Dimensions. I fiddled with a raytracer for the Amiga at that time but it was all based on little text files — in other words, programming. I could just never figure the stuff out.
Fast forward from 1987 to 1996 and computer graphics were very popular. Terminator 2 had come out several years earlier to accliam for the use of high end graphics and compositing of the morphing terminator. I had moved to California from Virginia and was researching everything I might want to do. I was particularly interested in taking classes at Silicon Studio in Santa Monica. Silicon Studio is no more, but they taught expensive classes in computer animation at a neat facility. It was a branch of the then-flying-high SGI. I went to SIGGRAPH and was blown away. I was reading about CG animation incessantlt, reading movie magazines to try and learn all I could.
All that reading made me book-smart about computer graphics. For some reason NURBS stands out in my memory as something to know about. I had it memorized and even understood what it was. NURBS are “non-uniform rational B-splines.” NURBS are math that describes curves, especially a curve you have to reproduce in a computer with a minimum of math. They’re Bezier curves, which I understood from my class in Freehand/Adobe Illustrator. It was a subclass of the kind of math you would need to represent objects in a virtual world. This virtual world I always thought of as Gibson‘s Cyberspace.
Right now I’m taking a class in 3-D animation. The tool we’re using is Cinema 4D. It’s an impressive tool, and (so far) straightforward to learn. And one of the tools is “HyperNURBS” — I don’t know what the “Hyper” part means yet, but the image in this post is my very first time actually using these NURBS thingies!
So that’s a brief tale of my own personal experience of 3-D graphics, from fan, to knowledge, and now to application.
It seems like the more I learn, the more I realize I know nothing at all. I’m feeling humility today and yesterday and the day before. Humility before a higher power is how I think of it. It reminds me of 12-Step programs, one of which I got involved with a few years ago. Humility serves a good function. Tear down the arrogance, and that’s when interesting stuff happens, that’s when you become open to what the world might be trying to tell you. I make progress toward being a good communicator, towards being a responsible person, but adulthood eludes me. F for Fake. Or F for Flake.
WWOD? What would Orson do?
Though perhaps I’m hung up on labels, and “should”-ing myself about what I “should” be, what I “should” be doing.
I have had a busy week, but I got lost this week in terms of my responsibilities. I am not as smart as I thought I was. I run into roadblocks, I run into the hard thing… and I am stopped dead in my tracks. I am paralyzed. At that point bad habits kicked in, and I have suffered for it, and that suffering is transferred to those I love. Those I love a great deal. That sucks. And hurts. And is a failure.
But the lovely thing is I am in control of my own life, and I can do what I want to do. I can want to do better. I can make changes which have an impact on the conduct of my own life, and if I am lucky or God willing (should he / she / it exist), then those changes can have an impact on those I love a great deal.
I know nothing, but I am in charge of my own life, and all the self-loathing in the world (well, all the self-loathing comes from inside me, not the world) won’t help a damn bit.
My name is Joe. I’m a human being, and I make mistakes. I might even make them in swirling curlicue patterns, thinking next time things will pull left, but there they go again pulling right. But I can recover from them and get better each time. I know that positive change is possible, because I’ve been there and done that.
The danger is in the hubris of thinking you have it all figured out. And that hubris is really just ignorance of the self. It’s a lack of reflection of how imperfect we are. That’s over. I feel it. I know nothing. And that is the beginning.
Thanks for listening. I doubt it made any sense, but it felt good.
I, apparently need God.
Whether there is one or not, I need a label for a higher power. For the unknown. Not black cats and superstition. But for the things in this world which cannot be easily explained.
And when I say need, I mean need.
I am a Catholic Agnostic, but there is a higher power, even if that thing is simply the spark in us that is greater than us. The thing that is there in a babie’s smile, in a sunset, in a beautiful painting, in a great movie, in a friendship, in love. In those things which will simply not submit to rationality and reproducibility and experiments. I need something to call it, and I’m calling it God. In all humility. This is a turnaround. I lost my faith in my twenties and God-damn the world which is so brutal and so inexplicable. And yet this is the world where I live, and I must be. Where I must carry out works. Where I must make a difference. Right now I miss working in the Hospital. Which is ironic, because I think I lost my faith seeing people suffer and die in hospitals.
So this labeling I’ll call faith. This might be a mistake. Right now, I don’t care, I need it.
I considered archiving all of artlung.com today. Thinking of starting fresh at joecrawford.com.
Lots of thoughts today. A rush. Today I need the comfort of that label. A higher power. My higher power. God. Is this desperation? I’m using my heart, and leading with my chin. Bring it on world. Bring it on. I will be myself. Whole. Humble. Forgiven?
It could get weird in here. I’m hopeful.
Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 71
Knowing ignorance is strength.
Ignoring knowledge is sickness.
If one is sick of sickness, then one is not sick.
The sage is not sick because he is sick of sickness.
Therefore he is not sick.
On my mind today, in fact it’s my mantra today, is a line from Catholic Mass, the prayer called “Glory Be”:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.
Somehow that’s very comforting today.
And in the same thread, Jukebox sent me this, which is comforting today:
Thank you Gentlemen. Thank You.
It’s not the initial bits of recovery that are the hard bits… it’s the middle bits that are the hardest.
Doing the hard thing, is hard.
Autobiography in Five Short Chaptersby Portia Nelson
- I. I walk down the street.
- There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk.
- I fall in.
- I am lost…..I am helpless;
- it isn’t my fault.
- It takes forever to find a way out.
- II. I walk down the same street.
- There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
- I pretend I don’t see it.
- I fall in again.
- I can’t believe I am in the same place;
- but it isn’t my fault.
- It still takes a long time to get out.
- III. I walk down the same street.
- There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
- I see it is there.
- I still fall in….it’s a habit.
- My eyes are open.
- I know where I am.
- It is my fault.
- I get out immediately.
- IV. I walk down the same street.
- There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
- I walk around it.
- V. I walk down a different street.
Revolutionary change requires change from within.
Affirmation/Mantra for the day:
I am capable of changing.
TUT’s Adventurers Club – Take the Oath and Receive the Notes!
In the face of adversity, uncertainty and conflicting sensory information, I hereby pledge to remain ever mindful of the magical, infinite, loving reality I live in. A reality that conspires tirelessly in my favor.
I further recognize, that living within space and time, as a Creation amongst my Creations, is the ultimate Adventure, because thoughts become things, dreams come true, and all things remain forever possible.
As a Being of Light, I hereby resolve to live, love and be happy, at all costs, no matter what, with reverence and kindness for All. So be it!
Address your needs:
And be a beacon to the greater glory of God.
My cynical 20 and 30-something self, who, upon seeing person after person suffer and die in hospitals, scoffs at the above statement. Heck, I’ve just recently been able to say “God” and capitalize it and everything. I had not done so since High School.
Meanwhile, the 7-year self understands fully that the universe, while chaotic, is also a great deal of fun. And where’s it come from, if not from God?
Here I am, 35 years old, and I am both these people, and more. I contain multitudes. I am belief and unbelief. I am realist and optimist and cynic. What I think and feel has a real impact on my life. These things *are* my life. And today, this morning, I think and feel that I am not a washed up child prodigy. I am not the boy genius who failed to live up to his potential. I am not a failure. These labels are not me, but they harpoon me, cutting a hole in me, subduing my true nature. Playful, instructive, passionate, loving, positive, enigmatic, enthusiastic.
How the Hell did I let the curmudgeon, the cynic, the naysayer, the lollygagger, the slug take over my outlook? And for years! I love those parts of me too, they are me, but they can’t take control. They can’t take things for granted. They can’t let fantasy be more important than my life. They can’t make me abandon the things I love.
This enthusiasm is scary because it feels so fleeting. When the humdrum hits, will the minus come back and snuff out the plus? How can I live and experience my life authentically and still feel the negative emotions? Feeling happy about everything is just another kind of unreality. I want to feel my feelings, and know that I am a person greater than just the sum of my feelings.
I am very thankful to my Transcendental Meditation instructor from High School. The tools I learned in that class have suddenly, 20 years later, proven very useful.
I feel like a pinata right now, bursting!
Integrity, Creativity, Honesty.
I’m back. Back with verve.
I played racquetball last night.
I am sore with a capital SORE.
Aleve is my friend.
The backstory is that Back in August I posted mentioning looking for a partner here in Simi.
And last week, that call was answered, dude.
I’ve gained weight, but I was able to make some good shots. Didn’t overtax my system, but I needed long breaks between games.
We’re playing again next week.
Rock. Rock. On.
I went to Confession yesterday for the first time in 19 years. It seems my marriages (not in the Catholic Church) put me in a state which is not viable for receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This bums me out, but the priest was very nice, and had good advice for me, so I’m going to look into those options. Leah was very nice to me afterward. She could see how shook up I was by it.
Organized religion comes with some challenges, yo. They have rules. I want to run away from those rules, but navigating them is something I want to do, since I feel so strongly that it’s the Catholic Church (present and past) that has been a catalyst for the change that has taken place inside me in the past week and a half.
In other news… did I mention I was sore? It feels kind of good though, I definitely worked muscles I have not worked in a long time.
A., who I played with (and lost 3 times to) is to be married in India. Traditional marriage. It is said that arranged marriages are:
…more successful than other marriages. They hold that the spouses in an arranged marriage begin without any expectations from each other, and that as the relationship matures, a greater understanding between the two develops, aided by their often similar socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. In contrast, they feel that persons who enter into a marriage for romantic reasons often begin with unreasonable expectations, with little room for improvement but a great chance of failure.
Something to think about. Although I think marriages succeed and fail all the time, be they romantic, arranged, economic, or whatever. The question is really what kind of effort — spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical — you’re willing to put into them. Are you willing to be a partner who is there when things get hard? Sickness, health? Richer, poorer? Because life can get pretty rough brother. It gets really rough.
I am bringing, moving, pushing my actions (which have been slack) to match my passion and love for Leah, and for our partnership.
I dig this one. Perfect timing.
Wherever a new disagreement emerges, Joe, so does new hope for enlightenment, on both sides of the fence.
It’s a brand new day.
I have riches untold.
I am blessed.
Leah’s is in San Diego now, visiting our friend Mickele.
I let my folks know what’s up with me, and Leah, and the Church. They’re more supportive than I ever would have thought. And yet I find myself unsurprised. I love them.
Tomorrow I’ll go down to San Diego and pick Leah up and we’ll go to the Family Reunion thing for my Pop’s side of the family. We’re looking forward to that.
Another morning, some more tears. Must be a brand new day.
What’s a good affirmation from my handy-dandy list o’ affirmations? Here’s a good one:
“I am a child of God and I deserve Peace, Prosperity, and Serenity”
And even a better one, to remind me that dedication to the truth rocks:
“The pain that I might feel by remembering can’t be any worse than the pain I feel by knowing and not remembering”
To top it off, I’m still sore from racquetball. I have a few days to recover before I play again.
Cold here. Rainy yesterday. Now? Bright blue skies and fluffy white clouds.
That cycle, rain yesterday, blue skies today, feels like a redemption cycle.
There is hope.
The rain’s back. Sounds really nice on the roof.
Lovely, really. Redemption comes in waves? Life is a wheel? Good times and bad? minus and plus? Balance. Seek balance. I seek balance.
Currently watching: Danny Deck Chair
And getting some work done too.
Texted Leah. I hope her weather in San Diego is exactly what she needs.
Chocolate soy milk and a banana.
Yum. Day. Rocks.
Leah sent me this today.
If we’re upset and confused, we’re going to force our upset and confusion on somebody else. If two people are married and one has an emotional hang-up, that person may cause the other one emotional confusion, and then the marriage will be crippled. The existence will be crippled.
If someone around you is emotionally upset, tell that person not to put that on you. You can help that person work through it, but don’t take that confusion and upset on yourself. You don’t have to allow that.
Be selfish in a positive way.
(From: Sex, Spirit and You, p. 73)
I’d like to rest my heavy head tonight
On a bed of California stars
I’d like to lay my weary bones tonight
On a bed of California stars
I’d love to feel
Your hand touching mine
And tell me why
I must keep working on
Yes I’d give my life
To lay my head tonight on a bed
Of California stars
Wilco Woody Guthrie (thanks Jeff!).
“Struggle onward, bubba. I’m rooting for you.”
Thanks Tom! Likewise.
There was frost on the ground this morning here in Simi Valley.
Must be weather in honor of President’s Day.
The frost crunched underfoot as I took the trash cans out.
Beautiful bright day now!
Two cartoonists weigh in on the Danish cartoon controversy.
SPIEGELMAN: I have spent a lot of time soul searching and still come out on the same side of the equation. If there’s a right to make cartoons, there has to be a right to insult, and if there’s no right to make cartoons, well, I’m in big trouble. And I think America might be too.
What can you tell me about the ManKind Project?
Can you recommend any Men’s spiritual retreats?
I was impolite to her today. Curt. Short. Not cool, Joe. Not cool.
Cool your Jets Boy!
It’s not easy being green.
Not easy to juggle priorities and be a grown up.
It would be nice if it were, but it must be something about being a mature adult.
Better next time. Better really better.
I love Leah. So how do I show her, even when I get frustrated? How do I not explode and get my upset all over her?
The key is to cool your jets, boy. Take your temperature, boy.
Watch that thermostat, boy.
Song of Solomon
A Deal’s A Deal
I’d love to see this. Given it’s in Palo Alto up by Stanford, seems like a longshot. We’ll see how well we get things together:
Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts | Stew
Stew’s new musical, Passing Strange, is a work in progress that will be developed and performed at Stanford. The piece employs and toys with the time-honored tradition of the “musical travelogue” filtered through the black bohemian perspective of this acclaimed indie-rocker. It is commissioned by The Public Theater and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
(actually, yesterday now)
Lead With Your Chin.
Be gutsy. Be truthful. Be loving. Be authentic. Be love. Be real. Be risky. Be honest. Be spiritual. Be dogged. Be respectful. Be open. Be yourself.
Yo homes, ONWARD.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt.
and Tom Peters quoted her too.
also, Scared straight – ‘Do one thing every day that scares you’ forwarded to me by Leah.
Overheard by someone else, but a necessary koan nonetheless:
If I can’t trust your ‘no,’ how can I trust your ‘yes’ ?
The concern this day is constancy. Of doing the right thing, for the right reasons, without trying to “sell” “win over” “impress” or otherwise manipulate another person.
I do that, it’s not a good pattern. It’s a disordered way to treat people.
I’m done with it. I vow to be who I am, regardless of who’s watching.
Character is what you are in the dark.
I’m not quite sure what to make of something called a Catholic Mormon Podcast.
“Hey you got your Mormon in my Catholic!”
“Hey, your Catholic got into my Mormon!”
Two great tastes that go great together!
It sure is a big internet.
So Mass today was good. The homily was about Grace. Grace as in that “hand of God,” possibly last seen inspiring Jules Winfield in Pulp Fiction.
Or maybe dropping down and bopping me on the head to go to Mass on the morning after Leah announced that we should be separated. I was comforted.
Faith as desperation? Faith as need?
I always thought that was a bad way to go. Sort of like being the fairweather fan of a sports team. You know the type, if the team wins a pennant, they’re wearing the hat. No wins, no pennant.
Well, I’ve kept rosaries and my Confirmation shawl and my First Communion book for a reason hoss. Not just because I collect stuff. Religion is part of my core. Imagine a computers operating system: I/O, processing, memory. Part of my kernel is and always has been running theist, Christian, and Catholic subroutines. I might ignore them, I might freeze them to a virtual disk, but they never went away.
Ignoring them was a mistake. They’re back and strong. It’s a fierce thing. Everything is new.
Today’s readings included a phrase that Leah always chuckles/appreciates: “gird your loins”
USCCB – (NAB) – February 28, 2006
Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly,
and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Like obedient children,
do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance
but, as he who called you is holy,
be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct,
for it is written, Be holy because I am holy.
It gave me a smile.
Even moreso that the lines really meant something to me.
When I go to weekday Mass, I have to listen a little closer. They don’t have all the readings in the missal, so I can’t catch up and doublecheck against the reader. I have to listen. It’s a nice discipline, though sometimes I can’t understand the reader so well. The lay readers vary in their quality.
I remember I have read in Mass a few times, a very few. It was a great honor. It was a part of attending Catholic School for many of my grade school and high school years. Today I imagined myself… no, scratch that, I saw myself reading as a young man. With puffy cheeks and longish hair. Maybe 12 years old. Awkward, but intense, and usually pretty smiley.
I think of that kid, he went to Mardis Gras in New Orleans. An old American city. An old French city. A city in ashes. I lived there. I touched that city and feel I understand it. Always remaking itself. Decay and rebirth. Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Vieux Carre. A very Catholic city. Interesting that it sits there in my personal history. I missed Fat Tuesday today, but I’ll get there again someday.
I used to think about being a Priest. I thought about that today, as one of the intentions was for the vocations — being Nuns and Priests. It was a silly thought to me, I mean to the today-me, I do not long for a life enmeshed in prayer and contemplation. I want a life of partnership and stewardship. I a looking at my role as a stepdad in a different way. I was reviewing sin on some website and it talked about an interpretation of the commandment to “honor thy father and mother” where the honor goes both ways, both to the parents, and also to the children. And failing to honor your children was thought of as a sin. It’s an important vocation for me. That and of course honoring my wife. I wonder if that one goes with that commandment as well.
I don’t know if I buy it, but it seems not a bad principle, regardless.
Aside: I have amazing parents. They’ve been amazingly supportive. I now have a rosary that originally belonged to my Grandfather. Incidentally named Jesus. He died many years ago, but his spirit I know I carry with me.
Hmm. What else?Wabi-sabi. I had heard this term before, but I never quite understood it. I’m not actually sure I understand it now. It’s something to do with the beauty of things as they age and are impermanent.
It reminded me of Leah and the way she talks about her paintings. My wife uses natural materials in her work, seed pods, bark, leaves, dirt, rocks. These materials age. Leah talks about how her paintings are meant to age and decay over time, and that’s part of the work. For some reason it really moved me to think about this aspect of her aesthetic point of view.
One of my favorite songs is “Nothing is Permanent” by Brave Combo, it’s a great site:
Nothing is permanent
Nothing will last forever
Nothing is permanent
Rain falls and turns to mud
And then it dries and blows away, away
Grass grows in yards of green
And then it gets too tall and causes worry
Need leads to satsified
Which doesn’t last so long and well
All things, always change
And change is fast if it’s not slow
Nothing is permanent
Nothing will last forever
Nothing is permanent
Where was the neighborhood
Before they marked off all the streets and roads
Who came to live here first
And does it really matter
I don’t think so
New stores of few design
Look old and dated long before they fall
Buildings of any sort are just lean-tos and that’s all
Nothing is permanent
Nothing will last forever
Nothing is permanent
I quite like that.
I especially like: “All things, always change / And change is fast if it’s not slow”
Yeah. I like that.
It’s about decay, but it’s also about possibility.
Not a bad sentiment for Lent, coming real soon now. Ash Wednesday is tomorrow.
All things end.
But there is also rebirth to consider.
So turns the wheel, as the Buddhists might point out.
Everything is new.
Two truths, that go great together.