Friday, December 30, 2011

conditions of being



being has two distinct conditions, being for itself and being in itself. being for itself is a sort of pre-reflective awareness. when i think about this state, i think that it would be like gaining awareness in uteri: a sort of Kantian intuition of being, colorless, shapless, smelless, yet still being, without the inward contemplation. being in itself is the phenomena we experience being to be. to consider, i take on the phenomenological view of knowledge and understanding. the being in itself Sartre insists, is neither active, nor passive.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

christopher hitchens changed my life

i can't muster the wit it would take to pay proper respects to someone who had an understanding so vast, complexities so deep, a command on the language he wrote in so precise, and sympathies so great; but i can continue to seek truth and try to be courageous and true to understanding reality.

humanity lost a bright light this week. i hope death brought a man in agony relief. i hope to be more like christopher hitchens was in life and in death.

i am truly mourning.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

jeffrey sachs for president

poverty is a relative term. to me,poverty can be defined as is if a person is living and: a) they do not have sufficient access to food, water, and/or shelter, b) there is not enough natural resources/ in a person's geographical location to sustain life and make progress towards a better life, and c) they cannot escape their geographical location.  the first requirement is almost obvious and needs little explanation, survival is number one. “sufficient” in this characteristic, is a term worth defining. by “sufficient” i mean to have enough food, water, and shelter to have enough energy to work and enough health to stay alive. the second and third requirements are reliant on failing the first.  the second requirement, i speculate, is so i may still effectively define those most severely overcome by poverty; those that are stuck in the midst of the poverty cycle, one which compels people to cut down those last remaining trees without re-planting, until there are not even trees as natural resources for homes, goods, animals to reside in, or even to shade. as Sachs points out in his book, The End of Poverty, these states are stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of perpetual poorness. it may be the case that there are no resources to begin with, or so hardly any that were once there were depleted. you might consider a desert. people have set up their societies in the middle of a desert where a river once ran, but the river ran dry and after it did, those people are stuck; without the means to survive or flee. this leads me to my third and final characteristic, an almost Platonist like concept of the ability to leave the region. if the place you were born is barren of resources, and you are literally unable to come up with the resources to leave an area, you are living under the poverty line. i use this characteristic to better distinguish wants and needs. if you were born in New York City, and are failing to meet my first measure, and also the second measure, if you are still able to get together enough resources to move somewhere that was more affordable, then you are not living in poverty. if you are unable to come up with enough water and protein to travel across the vast desert to immigrate elsewhere, you are living in poverty.
my measure and all the others are deficient in a similar and profound way: the cyclical nature of poverty, in which ever measure and subsequent definition of the word. i have seen this with my own eyes and have never stumbled across an econometrics examination or qualitative analysis that was able to weigh the variable of hereditary poverty. that is why i came up with my third trait of “poverty;” i have lived in a place where many people live a life of poverty (by many measures). i have seen many of those people stay there and raise their many children there, and, as you might have guessed, those children then stay and do the same. i escaped. my mother (and father, by twisting his arm) found the means to relocate us to a place where there are jobs and opportunity for personal growth. she sought and received an education which would allow her to fund an expensive endeavor such as moving. she had no more opportunity than our old neighbors, in fact less, since she was the only source of income for herself and me, while attending the university, while our neighbors were a working couple with a child. she did have a couple variables that not all people have: perhaps my mother came equipped with more mental capital and will and also cousins who were already here and could spare a room for our little family until we got our feet on the ground. we escaped the cycle and do not live a life of poverty. on the contrary, our old neighbors still live in the same house and live a life of poverty. none of the measures (mine included) can account for this phenomena and are flawed as a result.
if you haven't read any Jeffrey Sachs, i strongly urge you to. he is pretty centered and his economic mindset really makes for interesting analysis of situations. you can find info on the book here.



Sachs, Jeffrey. The End of Poverty. Peguin Press. NY. 2005 (pg 57-60)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

descartes proof of god

        In the Third Meditation, Descartes gives us the causal proof for god’s existence, but throughout the Meditations, Descartes has not put to rest the paradox of the concepts of error and god. If error exists (through humans) and humans are creature that god (the all good, all knowing creator) created, why then is there room for error? Firstly, Descartes clears up the idea of a deceptive god; god can not deceive us because every type of deception is an imperfection.  I personally believe that the term “imperfection” is ambiguous;  I think that the mind can conceptualize words like this in a relative way through negation. It is clear and distinct how god is perfect, and the opposite can be said from that. Descartes proves that the infinite, omni-benevolent idea of god is the root cause of his idea of god. Indeed, he seems to presuppose god’s existence to prove god’s existence, but he must to support the sufficient means law of all things. So, god, in all of its perfect-ness, gave humans their facilities and from our facilities we can makes misjudgments because we do not have all of the pieces needed to make the proper judgment. Error comes from the misuse of the perfect faculties that the perfect god gave us. There are two parts to judgment ; the faculties of intellect and will. Intellect serves as the ability to perceive to form ideas and make judgments on them. The ideas presented to the intellect are neither true nor false. The intellect serves a passive function as a warehouse of ideas of which we pull from to further qualify other ideas. The second perfect faculty god gave humans was will. Will only affirms or denies ideas presented by the intellect. The ideas presented can be a mix of new information and ideas from the warehouse of intellect, ready to be iterated with the new ideas and for the will to choose to affirm or deny the new idea. If the intellect is presented with ideas which are already misjudged by the will, or are not presented in their entirety, the will can misjudge them. This is not god’s fault; god is perfect and bestowed onto us perfect faculties, it is my incorrect use of my free will that causes error. “…extends in general to every case where the intellect does not have sufficiently clear knowledge at the time when the will deliberates.” In the last paragraphs of the Fourth Meditation, Descartes further substantiates god’s perfect-ness and why that leaves him null of responsibility for error, although he created humans with free will, which can lead to error. Descartes says that god gave him the ability to agree or disagree with ideas, presented to his intellect, and when he chooses to agree with something when he does not have the clear and distinct knowledge of truth, is an imperfection in him and a misuse of those perfect faculties. He prescribes man a method to always avoid error from this logic: restrain your will to only pass judgment on ideas that are extended to the intellect with the clear and distinct quality, since everything with that amount of clarity is something (not nothing) and everything with thing-ness came from god.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

if you give a fuck...

I'm coining this expression: "why don't you put giving a fuck to good use and vote"

Be prepared for bumper stickers. This one will definitely appeal to the people who are so misinformed that the only truth they can relate to is giving a fuck. I am a convincing political enthusiast and can almost always show a person that they give a fuck. It is an easy argument.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

con te partiro

my handcrafted version of BattleShots

great grandma

swinging girls

happy girl
panqueque

sickie girls, but still fashionable


playing!
A couple links I think you should check out:

A blog about the improbability of your personal existence. Yes he uses generalizations, and yes it's still fabulous. Follow the link, here.

This cute cover of Two Headed Boy/Holland, 1945, here. All of his stuff is pretty good. I dig that voice.
Please read this paper on quantifying the attractiveness of a face, here. It's terribly interesting.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

eleven years of gadgets

since the turn of the millennium we have witnessed some incredible leaps forward in technology. i think iPods define this generation of people, y or whatever. the first model, released in '01, was brick like device that had buttons and a dial. it could hold 5-10 gigs of music, and no other data. they started getting larger (60 gig) by the 4th gen which could also display crude pixalated images. apple has already designed it's own throwback "iPod classic," which can hold 120 gigs of crap. the iPod comes in minis and shuffles and mini iPads, i mean, touches.

my little brother was born in '05. he is ridiculously good at angry birds and can easily learn how execute commands on iDevices. he will certainly have an iDevice sooner than later. my littlebits aren't even two yet and already can "unlock" my toys. when they insist they need iDevices, i am certain we will give them ours and get new ones. they will lern how to send their grand parents emails before i stopped believing in santa. i know they'll be as addicted to music as i am so they will need mp3 players! i don't know how i would've turned our if i had the Internet at my finger tips when i was a kid. I am excited to see what the future holds.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

playlist: piana



Rabbit in your Headlights: U.N.K.L.E.
Jealous Guy: John Lennon
Everything's Not Lost: Coldplay (you know how i know you're batting for the other team? you like Coldplay)
Goshen: Beirut
Passenger Seat: Death Cab for Cutie
Like Spinning Plates (I Might be Wrong Live Version): Radiohead
Perfect Neglect in a Field of Statues: Eluvium
The Freshman: Jay Brannan
Tiny Dancer: Ben Folds
Big Boat: M. Ward
One of These Things First: Nick Drake
Maybe I'm Amazed: Sir Paul McCartney
True Love Waits: Christopher O'Riley

Friday, October 21, 2011

happy rapture

shit! i should have donated more money!
                                 

Monday, October 17, 2011

change is hard

i reached as far as my arm would go, but he let go. so i'll move on. i'll read the forums and reach out to people in the same place i am. of course he got defensive like my previous post said he was the incarnation of ted kennedy. of course he asked me to leave him be, which i will. i am trying so hard not to be bummed. i am confident that i made the right choice. i can hopefully get over this and like he said "worry about my own family," which i do incessantly.

my peanuts painting
i got a kazoo. i am tickled to death about my new found ability to hum trombone and trumpet riffs. i started another painting yesterday. i planned on it saying "how strange it is to be anything at all" and put my favorite equations in the background. i am just so intrigued and turned on by the sciences. i read an article this morning explaining why the universe is flat; according to Einsteinian equations,  mass would have to comprise < .02% of the universe, and the majority of the composition of the universe is dark energy. apparently 19 billion years ago, dark energy was dark matter? i have also been reading different physics blogs trying to explain away CERN's neutrino findings. some of the article are pompous and almost like, brace yourself, the authors are scared of change or the implications of the finding. there is just an odd sentiment towards the special theory of relativity. change is difficult for all of us, i guess.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

natural reward center

it blows my cognitive self away that people with high IQs get themselves chemically addicted. it amazes me how the rewiring of the brain enables the addiction to drive the bus.

my name is ruby, and i have a friend that is addicted to pharmaceuticals.

he has owned a little section of my heart since we were kids. he has been there for me in ways no other friends have in my life. i love him dearly and am so bothered that his life has become what it has. he is college educated; in fact, he used to be quite brilliant at utilizing all of his facilities and applying them to his field. he has always had a dark side. once a brooding angsty teen, he has always identified with deep lyrics and bass rhythms.

one day, after college, he started smoking heroin. some of his friends were also doing it. some of MY friends were doing it. the heroin smoking was far too casual. i was not invited to their gatherings. i was kept mostly in the dark, since i am a bit of a prude. eventually, one of my dearest friends quit dabbling and let me know what was going on.

apparently my pharmy friend used pharmies to wean himself off of the heroin. he and his closet friend have told me about the withdrawals; how awful, painful, nauseating, mind fucking getting off of black tar was. but pharmies helped decrease the symptoms ever so slightly. enough, unfortunately, to increase activity in the brain's natural reward center. god damn the lizard brain!

he admitted to me over three years ago that he has a problem with drugs. he called me late one evening. our friend was in need of an intervention. he started using at the same time my pharmy friend did, they did together. the friend was pathetically addicted, as he spent everyday in search of a fix and lying to the love of his life. pharmy friend knew at that time that both of them needed help. our mutual friend got help. his new wife moved him across the country and has not enabled him to be a loser.

my pharmy friend, however, has not gotten away from opiates. he has convinced himself that he has too much pain to get off of the drugs. the consumption patterns are up and down; he won't be able to get enough fix for a week (taking so much he passes out) and then is able to "cut back" and only take the "bare minimum." i beg and plead with him very so often to go to rehab since he doesn't have a job and his parents own his house. unfortunately, his parents use (legally? Probably.) pharmaceuticals as well and may not fully understand what's going on.
they are all good people, whom i love. he will sometimes slip up and give me details of his life that paint a junkie's picture. he has lost jobs, friends, potential love interests.

some days i just can't stand the thought of talking to him because i am lying to him. i can't have a philosophical conversation with him because i can't let go of his addiction. i can't pretend to not know he is slowly killing himself with vicodin. i can't pretend i am not heart broken that someone that i love and used to look up to is now someone i wouldn't leave my children with. someone that i am not certain would not steal from me. the fucking opiates are driving the bus.

i am bitter. i am mourning. i am starting to understand addiction.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

sartre's implied being

to counter my unproductive reading habits, i carry around with me, Being and Nothingness. i read it while i am  trying to forget my worries. it is easy to get lost in sartre and feel like something else matters.  i am not far into this piece of grandiloquence work. i think i have reached the fiftieth page and turned back twenty pages to reread. for the last four years. when reading heavy philosophical  texts, i still underline and highlight like a college student. 

here are a collection of lines that i think i may comprehend. 

“being is. being is in-itself. being is what it is.”(page 29)

as sartre sets out to exhaustively iterate consciousness, it seems rather endless and undefinable because of consciousness’ necessary coupling with being. to begin, sartre states: “all consciousness is consciousness of something.”(page 21) this statement can be sorted out by comparing it to similar statements, ‘all smelling is the smelling of something,” or ‘all seeing is seeing of something’, since, nothingness has no flavor, odor or visual object-hood to taste, smell, or hear, there must be it’s opposite, something, to have these sensible characteristics. (note: using any ownership on nothingness [or ‘it’s’] is logically impossible but the nothingness i am referring to here is representation of the lack of somethingness.) i suppose further one might add that the somethingness that consciousness could have a vagueness to it. does this statement imply that by having consciousness, other things exist? perhaps, but sartre only implies clearly that being is objective. being cannot be subject because subjective truths already imply that something exists. sartre is trying to state that being is objective to us because we are always already thrown into being as such. further, being is a phenomena, it presents itself to being and in this way also presupposes its own existence. “it is that which escapes, that which by definition will never be given, that which offers itself only in fleeting and successive profiles,"(page 22) sartre states, a statement which reeks of sartres’ phenomenological predecessors, like husserl, who postulated that very idea in Being and Time. (my little piece on the application of phenomenology to video games )

“consciousness is a being whose existence posits its essence,”(page 24)
a thing cannot lose its essence without ceasing to exist, and the essential nature of a natural kind, such as water or gold, is that property without which there is no instance of the kind.” the concept of subject that has consciousness is interdependently connected to the concept of its essence. they are inseparable.

“the primary characteristic of the being of an existent is never to reveal itself completely”(page 24) another way to think of this is by placing something as close to your eye as you can, without touching your eye; the eye or mind cannot evaluate what it is in front of it. or,  if you were to blast a note from a trumpet directly into an ear; although you might recognize the first note of Taps if it were not so close to your ear, the note would feel more like pain and less like a B note. when things are too close to our senses they cannot be revealed entirely. the essence of being is something that one can never experience, since it is inseparable from consciousness, and to begin with, one cannot separate themselves from their consciousness.
“any judgment about being already implies being,” to which Sartre replies, “it is not necessary to pass beyond the being of this meaning toward its meaning.”(page 25) this line of reasoning reminds me of the skeptical cartesian cogito. by using the faculty of judgment one is already engaged in an act of being. the reply that sartre offers is confusing but here is my understanding:
being as two statements: BEING FOR ITSELF
                                      BEING IN ITSELF

“it knows no otherness; it never posits itself as other-than-another-being." (page 28) 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

the best wednesday, ever

on the drive down to evergreen today, my eyes were inundated with yellow and orange. the hue of the scenery was such that around nearly every turn of the road i strongly desired to stop and admire the glow of the leaves basking in the sunlight.

Beirut tonight. so fucking excited.

on the way down, we very much enjoyed listening to: sun king by the Beatles and never ending math equation by modest mouse.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

busy. inspired. fall.

i have not been able to carve out an hour to blog these last couple weeks. i have been doing a bit of traveling to and from denver, and doing a lot of creative baby things.

the science world seems to be inspired also! the most interesting stories are being published. if you are interested in science, you have probably heard about the neutrino particle. firstly, turns out, the neutrino has mass. secondly, and most importantly, the peeps at CERN doing the OPERA experiment have published an paper showing how the neutrino can travel faster than the speed of light. you can read the published paper from my dropbox account, here.  now, there is much speculation in the physics community about the possible short comings of the findings, and they are not going to be taken lightly. after all, the idea of light's speed  is at the base of most of the theory of special/relativity. einstein would be elated to know that a particle with mass can travel at or faster than (c) the speed of light. there is also much speculation by observers like myself about the possible implication of time and time travel if something can move faster than light. this possible finding may not directly change our lives or perceptions of the universe in this lifetime, but perhaps the human race is closer to understanding some truths about our existence.

i also encountered a super interesting article about scientists at UC Berkeley  "decoding" brain waves and "translating" them to images. Slate.com did a piece, including the images, which you can find here.   the website for UC Berkeley has the data and clips, and an explaination that goes a little further, here. i urge you to visit and thumb through. it is terribly interesting.

leaving for denver to see my favorite indie band, Beirut! i am to uranus excited for the show. so i am listening to every single song of theirs until the moment i get to the show!

i tots mcgoats want this for xmas, a beirut music box! .
i love the take away show, beirut style.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

romance

i recently did a survey on the book of face for my married friends. i asked them if their husbands were "romantic" and the overwhelmingly repeatative response was "no". there were a few friends who have spouses who really seem to have a flare for romance. i followed through with some of the ladies with romantic husbands, i asked what they did that was romantic. The answers included: dates, flowers, trips, jewelry, surprise events (sky diving, rafting, skiing), home cooked meals, spa time, cards, poetry... the list goes on and on and only a few ladies replied!

the list inspired me to qualify my idea of romance. i have come up with a list. just for reference, in case my husband asks.

qualifications of romance:
hand holding
kissing sessions
setting up the baby sitter for an evening alone
setting up and executing a date(of any sort really)
hot springs at night
a single flower
oil massage
slow dancing in the bedroom
a whole movie of snuggling
love notes!!

i am nearly positive that life gets in the way of fiery hot romance that you see in ridiculous movies, but what is stopping anyone from making life more romantic? other than a Y chromosome? this season always inspires a faintly romantic feeling in me. one that i desire to keep alive for the snowy season. i am putting "being more romance" on my list of ways to better life. now to inspire my significant other to do the same...

current tonal amusement: death cab for cutie, what sarah said

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

poor people, xian lens

As I drove through Denver, I saw an alarming number of homeless people. I couldn't help but contemplate the inequality of wealth, very much present in my home state. I gave  an old man a bagel that I bought for my babies. I generally do not give homeless money (we are incentive based creatures) but I did have perfectly good food that he could eat. I still feel a bit bad about contributing to the problem but I have not yet thought of a solution that I can contribute adequately. I was reminded that day by a "preacher" that I lived in a Xian society and that the "xian" thing to do would be to give the homeless money and shelter. Although I do not believe the "preacher" had a firmer grasp on his religion than I do, I found myself putting on the lens of Xianity and thinking about being "poor."

Reason is the chief quality of human action that, to Aquinas, makes the existence of poor in a society intolerable. Laws must be made in regard the common good in Aquinas’ just society, which reflects that of which we observe outside of society, since Aquinas was reconciling Aristotle’s empiricism with theology: “nature inflicts a loss on the part in order to save the whole,” Aquinas states. Nature does not act against God’s willing of its' purpose. It finds itself equilibrium, if even at the cost of one of God’s creations. This might be taken as a shortcoming of God or a limit to His perfect goodness; Aquinas might have reminded only God can see the true entire consequence of action and is in fact benevolent. In the Reply to Objection, Aquinas says that any human law that goes beyond the scope of the Commandments should not be obeyed.

Society must reflect the laws of nature, since the men with the greatest reason are philosophers (who reflect on what they see), they must create positive law (the laws of the political bodies.) If while studying the laws of nature, philosophers are witnessing the workings of God, uninterrupted by human will and society, society must reflect the nature of natural laws, and anything outside of that is unjust. Nature equitably shares itself. When in a state of nature, no things are possessions of the few, all exists for all of nature to share and benefit from. Society must reflect nature. Therefore, society must find an outlet to distribute wealth and burden those who have more than others, or else that society is unjust.

The Gospel of Luke would not tolerate poor people in a society where wealthy people were, either. It is told in Chapter 19 that Jesus was wandering through Jericho, when he comes across Zacchaeous, the tax collector. When Jesus approached, the greedy rich tax collector realized the wrongness of his ways, and gave away half his wealth and gave back anything he once stole from the people of Jericho. Jesus then told Zacchaeous that he was saved because of this deed. This story is indicating that if you are rich, you must give away your wealth to those that have less than you, and if you do not do so, you are not getting into heaven. A just society must have avenues for you to redistribute your wealth, and if it does not, it less not just. A just society, to Luke, would not tolerate the existence of poor people, it would redistribute it cumulative wealth to its entire people. While reading this inference, I am reminded of the communist utopia; a society which promotes common ownership of all resources to all members, which would not have inequalities in wealth and thus would not promote greed, coveting, or stealing. You could live by the virtues of the Bible easily in a communist utopia; free from ownerships of possessions (material, marriages or family constructs), free to devote your time to the common good and living an ethical life.

Both Luke and Aquinas are opposed to human laws which go against the divine good. Although those that are poor have less material possessions to be attached to (and thus may have the opportunity to be closer to God), the laws and the construct of an unjust society would keep the poor impoverished and without the capabilities to be close to God. That may be because the laws of an unjust society prohibit Xianity or do not adequately provide for the religious providers of that community. The laws might allow for some to be incredibly wealthy while others work and receive not enough. This is explicitly laid out by Aquinas when he said “burdens are laid on subjects according to the common good.” According to Aquinas’ tradition, a just political society would not tolerate inequalities of wealth if poor people exist within that society. The wealthy have an obligation to the poor: to be taxed to take care of the inequality of wealth.

(Holy Bible, Luke, Chapter 9, paragraph 3 and this text from Thomas Aquinas)
current tonal amusement: Ben Prestage

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

paper bird

i am headed to denver to catch a show or two of my favorite denver based band, Paper Bird. i am thoroughly excited to give them the fan art i made for them. i have never done a fan art piece before, so this is special. i listened to my favorite album by Paper Bird, anything nameless and joymaking and churned this shadow box project out.





happy beginnings for my favorite season! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

september

i find myself utterly delighted amidst the changing leaves and rainy days
my bed seems softer
the blankets more inviting
this necessary change is desired and fulfilled as i pull on my sweater and zip up my jeans
morning dew blankets the world as i walk the dog; it reminds me to be thankful things simply are
i let music hold my hand and offer me a sweet embrace
still my heart longs for something more
i'm getting lost in the fog
the haze of entanglement
my muse is the season

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

growing pains

in recent years i have done a significant amount of growing. motherhood, the end of college, moving across the state and the number attached to my existence have aided in my personal growth. i know now i need to grow in another way. i need to forgive myself. i was once young, immature and way more bitchy. i knowingly burned bridges, used people, was terribly selfish and probably hurt many people with my ignorance. when i remember something i am sorry for i try to apologize with sincerity. when i think of something i am grateful for, i log it, and will some day show my appreciation. this effort has not lead me to feeling great about myself. i often think about how wrong i have been and yearn to go back with my 27 year old self and sit my 22 year old self down and have a talk. not that 22 year old ruby would listen, she knew everything. if i could sit down with my younger self, i bet i would tell her this:

you may be smart but you don't know everything and your way certainly isn't the only one. you are beautiful and deserve greatness but no more than anyone else. try to be as polite, humble and compassionate to every last person you meet. even if you didn't offend them, the first and lasting impression of yourself may haunt you. try to be more considerate! your little agenda may seem muy importanto but it really is not anymore important than anyone else's. also, take care to love yourself more. you deserve love. especially your own love.



i'm not sure i am equipped to forgive myself today. but i'm putting it on my bucket list. i liken it to loving yourself; how can you love another person if you don't love yourself? how can you forgive others if you don't forgive yourself?

Monday, August 29, 2011

a secret post

i generally read non-fiction. i love philosophy, Christopher Hitchens, psychology, non-thesim, the studies of evolution, humanity, genetics, mathematics, economics, genocide, politics... i have read my share of Dave Berry, but that is about the closest thing to fiction i generally read.  but lately i have found myself picking up... fiction to read myself to sleep. while i was pregnant with my babies i picked up twilight. i could hardly stay awake so Friedman did not sound particularly achievable. i read twlight in a week. every word of every book in the series in 5.5 days. recently, a friend suggested i read the sookie stackhouse series and lent me a copy of the first book. i like it. it flows relatively smoothly and i can pretend you can avoid death. i am glad i didn't start reading books like this until my twenty somethings. my thoughts:

What would twilight have done to my more impressionable mind?
A) made me long for a love unattainable
B) make me love my odd self more thereby perhaps allowing myself the simple pleasures of nerd love
C) succeed in making me believe that the man in my life should have the reigns in our relationship and immerse myself in his love
D) create bonds with other nerdy girls and form a nerdy coalition helping me be more confident

How has vampire fiction effected my adult life?
A) helped me sleep
B) gave me perspective on how I want my daughters to date and the principles allowing them to understand how wonderful they are
C) helped me see the flaws in myself are cute
D) given me unreasonable expectations for chivalry
E) gave me a break from a hobbsian world of inherently evil humans

i may not read much more fiction, but i have enjoyed my brief encounters with it. next on my reading list is: the psychopathy test by jon ronson. a review of the book is here. after that, hitchen's newest, arguably: essays. here is the daily hitchens product description.

tonal amusement: eluvium's an accidental memory in the case of death

Saturday, August 27, 2011

a chemical reaction

playing dress up
sometimes people let you down. it is an experience that isn't terribly unique to the human journey. being let down means you've made yourself vulnerable or lent more of yourself than you could afford to protect or lose. i am still wondering what the appropriate reaction is to feeling let down. i practiced my own philosophy and made my expectations known and still i was hurt: deeply, not in some shallow, you called me a bitch kind of way. a way that i haven't let anyone ever hurt me before. i suppose there is a first time for everything. and unfortunately for me, not the last time for feeling let down.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

app approved

i, like most people i know, actually and not so secretly detest working out. i do it anyway because i want a perfect body, i want a perfect soul. but, i'm a creep. no, seriously, i fight myself with every mile i jog and every 15 minute ab sesh that drags on. i need serious rewards and incentive to accomplish my physical fitness goals. i found a neat free app for my iDevices! it is called nike trainer. there are four categories: get lean, get toned, get strong and get focused. each have a dozen or so 15 minute workouts. the "trainer" counts the seconds for you and let's you know what workout your doing next. there are cutesy "rewards" for every 60 minutes you've spent torturing yourself. sometimes those rewards are actually gratifying, since results on ones own body can take upward of 17,000 years to see. with nike trainer, you are able to listen to your playlist with flawless transition.

in summation:

i am driven by incentives.

i love music.

I rather dislike exerting unnatural amounts of energy unless the result is immediate six pack abs.

i'm partial to nike.

i'm a materialistic 'merican. shiiiiiiit.

Monday, August 22, 2011

inspired art

a new piece i made today.



.

i also did a few cards.










tonal stimulation: the rip tide and elephant gun both by Beirut.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

thoughts on the porcelain god

life.
the laws of energy transfer.
goofy eyeballs.
a noticeable amount of unfairness?
probably not.
it seems like existence may just "be."
no order.
no chaos.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Phenomenological Examination of Video Games and Time

“I do not hear the melody but only a single present tone.”



Husserl’s examination of consciousness and internal time begins, as always, with questions, this time specifically concerning the constitution of time. In, On the Phenomenology of the Conscious of Internal Time, Husserl asks the reader to accept a couple premises leading to his evidence; not to disregard all transcendencies and that a temporal object contains both time and space. I think to understand this concept you must also accept that objects present themselves in profiles. He uses a melody for an example of a single immanent profile; hearing as perceiving in a simple form of perceiving. He asserts that you are able to differentiate between one note and the next and from note to note you no longer hear the previous. That being said, you must also accept that you don’t lose the notes past altogether in consciousness, you retain them in order to continue making sense of the tune. “Anticipatory expectation” is the first appearance of a protensive plain of consciousness. Further, Husserl discusses tones in the present; you only hear one tone in the present time. The entirety of the three phases he calls an act-continuum. He concludes that immanent time appears as a continual flow. You can’t distinguish one moment from the next because as you intend the idea of distinguishing, each of the moments to be distinguished have passed, nearly unnoticed and would then belong to memory and neither would be a present blip of time. That is not to say that whether something is noticeable qualifies it as a distinguished moment, however the act of distinguishing takes a part in the consistent unity and flow forward of conscious time.


In an effort to better qualify my understanding of the unity of conscious time, I actively sought an example to examine phenomenologically, and came up with the video game Guitar Hero. Guitar is set up representing to play like a guitar, you “strum” and press “frets” and you do so in time with “notes” and a song on the screen. The flow of notes on the screen move continuously forward with only a sequence of four quarter notes consecutively able to be seen at any time. The object of the game is to be proficient in all of the act-continuum of time-consciousness’ relationship. At times, while playing Guitar Hero, my fingers respond to the visual mark on the screen too late, especially when playing songs I do not know. I have no protension in my present moment, so from one moment to the next I must tell my fingers to do only what I am receiving through perception in visual marks and tone-now’s. Sometimes, if a rather popular grouping of tones occurs, they collect in the past conscious, while being stored in retention and form a memory based apprehension. That is to say, from memory recollection in the retentive quality of time-consciousness’ relationship, a protension may occur without base of knowing the song but know tone groupings, similar.
Other instances, while playing Guitar Hero, my fingers preempt the timing for the game. My mind relies on its long-term memory signals to give me smaller time samples of time, so I may project what is to come. Unfortunately for my game, my long term memory is not sharp enough to accurately protense the tone-moment to come and I miss the point (and the tone now). Protension can be beneficial to game playing. The more I can anticipate accurately on the game the more probable it is that I will command my fingers properly. The protension of soon-to-be tone now’s are going to be both the now point and the past in a stream of consciousness Husserl’s vision of the relationship between time and consciousness is a continuous flow of acts; the current, the recent past and the projected future. This model is accurately applicable to, along with among most other experiences, playing video games. The examination Husserl gives of the tone in a melody is thorough and applicable also to all music and embodies consciousness and time relationship. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

the distance between us

here are some tips for maintaining long distance relationships (when sex isn't involved, because as we all know, sex is a great incentive):
pick up the phone when you're driving
a voice rather than an email is a nice change in communications with your far away beloveds. what better venue than the car when your children are contained and you can't text.
use traditional mail to surprise a friend with a greeting
it really invokes smiles to get a cute or goofy hello instead of a bill from insurance for $16,000 from that test they decided not to cover last year.
utilize technology like Skype
perhaps you won't be able to smell the garlic on your pal's breath but seeing someone's face once in a while can aid in keeping you tight.
muster up actual concern
even though your bro's drama probably doesn't affect you, showing honest concern for their ups and downs can help keep you tight. if you're on the book of face and you read that your friend is having a quarter life crisis, make your ear available for a bitch-fest or brag-fest. even if they don't take the offer of your ear, at least they know you care.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

bliss

a philosophy professor once told me he that if you could see my mind in an valley of grass, it would make random beautiful patterns stretching across the entirety of your field of view.

last week, i spread the nerd on thick. i found myself with a few people willing to enjoy pondering the latest in physics and biology. we took PBRs and tubes on the river and chatted about life and giggled as we enjoyed our time together. we bathed in the hot springs under a full moon and clear sky for the perseids shower. i got to forget how fucked up things in Africa or 'Merica are, let go of my uptightness and exercise my freedoms. we weren't married to time. what a refreshing state of being.

my dear friend sent me a message recently that read "ignorance really is bliss." but, you have to be aware that you're being ignorant to feel blissful. it just cannot be blissful to feel compelled to hate gay people or to feel uncomfortable around people that have darker skin than you.

as we enjoyed friend love in the mountains, i made sure to stop thinking and just take it in. that was bliss, sweet chaotic bliss.


my current tonal amusement: cocorosie, devendra banhart, and billie holiday

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

mental masturbation

as i sat before the blank screen, listening to the soundtrack of my life, i thought about the concept of blogging. is this my living journal? i have kept a few journals in the past. personal journals, shared journals, art journals, all avenues for mental masturbation. i was trying to figure out if i wrote these posts for myself or my potential readers? i undoubtedly have plenty of love and revere myself, but is that the point of my posts? as i read papers on the Mandelbrot Set and the application of quantum theory to explain human irrationality, an old familiar song played over my headphones: Echoes by Pink Floyd. 

By chance two separate glances meet 
And I am you and what I see is me 
And do I take you by the hand 
And lead you through the land 
And help me understand the best I can 

i have long forgotten the days i thought i could feel the interconnectedness of existence. the memory reminded me of how i did as a small child believe in ghosts and spirits, and how much of my childhood i was without doubt. i used to believe i could feel others. really. but i have lost this feeling of interconnectedness. am i he as you are he and we are all together? or were the beatles seriously high on some lysergic acid diethylamide? probably both. as philosophically eventful ones own existence is,  the existence of others is even more epic. so, solution to my earlier ponderings is that i am writing for both me and the potential you, because i am a skeptic of your existence.  
i think the clouds have passed and the meteor shower has started. i can properly ponder the news that nasa published about meteorites holding the building blocks for dna and then reread  Meditations for the the product of the first three terms of Sylvester's sequence'nd time. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

amus.ic.ed






today, i am inspired by beirut's new album the rip tide. you can listen to it here: @ NPR First Listen.  it is wholly satisfying my auditory needs currently. i will probably listen to this album 10 times in the next 48 hours. give the track "goshen" a spin. i promise, you'll like it.

 i read an amazingly interesting blog today, "Anything But Country", that disqualifies the Music Genome Project's postulation that there are 400 factors in music similarity casting. i wish the customary way to get to know someone was to have a gander at their music collection. you can assume, if they have basically the jack johnson pandora station on their apple device, that they are relaxed, mellow people. if  the artists that pop up are children of bodom and dying fetus, you should offer that person some whiskey and some gun shooting. if they have all dead composers, schopenhauer may be safe to bring up in conversation. if you get an apple device with all the indie and eclectic happiness that you could drink PBRs to and all the beatles, neil young and pink floyd you could ask for, you've found me.

 hi, nice to meet you.

Friday, August 5, 2011

i am a hypocrite

sometimes it takes perspective to pull your head out of your ass and realize how great you have it. hopefully whatever news source you turn to has been presenting you with images of starving Somalian children. the media might then mention that hundreds of thousands of people starved in the early '90s and how - hold your breath - 18 soldiers died trying to deliver food, thus halting  food relief efforts. there is chatter around the interweb from 'mericans who think instead of feeding people who are legitimately unable to overthrow their shitty government because they are too hungry, we should throw food at people who refuse to get jobs. i am all about helping the slightly mentally disabled veterans who beg for money on the streets, i think we should figure out how to get them the help they deserve. i am NOT an advocate of perfectly competent people sucking off the system that experience negative incentive to get jobs. the business of living off of government aid is too lucrative. i knew a girl, once, who used to have strong work ethic; and one day she discovered she didn't need to work.  since she lost the will to contribute to society she has lived with food stamps, housing assistance, loans, grants, none of which she will pay back. she refuses to get a job because if she does, the government will take a percent of her money for housing. she said she would lose some of her food stamps. she might not qualify for WIC. why would she bother having a job when she would have to start paying taxes and putting back into the system? this type of 'merican makes me want to scream. it's funny, she also does not think 'merica should have international aid programs. gee, i wonder why.

i acknowledge there are a plethora of things going on in 'merica that we should address. however, that does not mean we shouldn't convince NATO, 'merica and it's allies that a little aided coup, implementation of schools, and the presence of International Organizations or Non-government Organizations could save a couple hundred thousand lives. the Somalian people have no resources. they live in the desert. they have no opportunity to thrive. they need education on how to sustain-ably live in the surroundings they are born into. i feel guilty even typing this in my temperate dwelling on my over-coveted apple gadget.  my little family certainly could use a few of those thousands of dollars we are giving to system suckers. we would even try to contribute monetarily to a greater cause with the excess money we had. instead, thousands of children are starving, all while their shite government is still in power, and 'merican system suckers are living pretty and i am feeling awfully fucking guilty for ever feeling less than totally grateful for the situation i am in right now.

my current tonal amusement: besh o drom's album, can't make me

Thursday, August 4, 2011

imagination farm

Leona chasing turkeys.

Watching the goat.

Chickens

My little brother thought his junk was in danger.

Her name was Louise. She was a kind soul. 

Stella was so curious!

Add caption

Puppy Love

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

becoming reasonable

hoppie birdie, gma
my last post i addressed the application of making expectations known in relationships. i had an interesting conversation today about expectations. it was regarding being reasonable in expectations thereby increasing rates of success and reducing stress. we were chatting about how frustrating doing chores with children can be. take a grocery store visit for example. three-quarters of the way into a grocery trip with two 18 month old girls usually turns into a shit show of them trying to run free and then fits of frustration when they cannot run around. as you can imagine, i react with a little embarrassment and some blood pressure rising. why? because i unreasonably expected my little tiny people to sit still and not grab things. that was an expectation that i set up for myself and them to fail. now, i have reevaluated my expectation of my children in that situation. an immediate positive reaction to the reconstruction of rules and expectation occurred today. i set a goal of mailing a thank you card and a birthday greeting and thought we would have to go to the dreaded post office, but i found a couple stamps and we went on an adventure to mail our letters. the girls held my hands as we walked to the mailbox and they dropped in the mail their great gma's birthday card (first time they mailed something, tear). we checked out the tall grass and rocks for a while then walked home. it was fun and not stressful and met and went beyond my expectations of the event.

exercising the most reasonable part of the brain is not always easy. actually quite contrary, the prefrontal cortex is the least developed part of the brain and is easily over powered by the older brain, that relies on emotion and ancient rules of survival. it takes practice and mindfulness to exercise the younger more rational part of the brain and apply the rationale to daily life to relieve stress and create avenues for success.



my current tonal amusement: tUnE-YaRdS' album, BiRd-BrAiNs

Monday, August 1, 2011

known expectations

relationships necessitate expectations. hell, most of life necessitates we expect certain things to occur, it is a function of our ability to succeed as a species. close interpersonal relationships also necessitate certain expectations. usually, you can expect the person to be the same person they were last month; that you can count on them for some level of support; that they will genuinely care about you and your well being; you will probably enjoy their company when it is possible. those are functional and probably known expectations of any relationship. there can be some unknown expectations held against your basic companions.  i, in example, do not offer disclaimers to my sensitivity and without advising my life mates expect them to somewhat give a shit about them. these unknown expectations burden relationships because one person is not being fulfilled and the other person may not a be a mind-reader. i think it is illogical behavior to not let others know what you expect of them before they agree to the task of entering into whatever kind of partner-ship.

i even have expectations towards acquaintances. i expect them to be friendly and mature and  not spastically erratic, at least towards me and my beloveds. i have my own set of rules of engagement regarding any level of acquaintance: i won't give you all of my craziness, i will never be mean to you, i will politely exit your life without a harsh confrontation (unless you are a considerable asshole, and even then, i am trying to be as nice as possible to everyone who deserves it), and i will have my own opinions of you but never hold them against you; i accept you in totality. 

a failed hipster once told me that the cliche about your twenty's being about balance wasn't all that wrong. a shitty relationship or twenty are all acceptable. move on, grow up, create new rules like making expectations known. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

moving on

i am selling my college car. i remember the day we picked her up. my mom, eric and i sat around the dealership for hours. we finally signed every last paper and a check and she was mine.

she was my freedom: a dependable friend who would take me many places and one who i didn't mind bathing. when the stereo system went in, i thought i could live in that car. i took her up mountains, back roads, off roading in New Mexico, camping, across the country, and to visit my future husband.
when i wasn't using public transportation i drove her everyday to school. i could always afford gas for her and she rarely pooped out on me. my brother and sister used to point at every red car and exclaim "sis-sis, sis-sis!" i probably went way too fast in her, but i never crashed. she represents a time of growth and freedom in my life. it has been a ridiculous battle with my own memories to sell this car. i have been holding on to it because i haven't wanted to face that those days are over.  i have twins and live in the mountains now. i have to accept that the last bit of my single person-hood is gone. never again will i only think of me. perhaps it is a good thing that i am letting go, i can let go of the selfishness that encompassed my being. i am humbled in many ways by my children, and giving up my last cherished item of single person-hood should represent exactly that. and perhaps reinvest some of the cash in worthy ventures. growth and progress.
here is a collection of civic pics. good fucking times.







i said goodbye to my old friend, taking her for a joyful ride. found a hidden surprise in stay golden by au revoir simone. i played it could be sweet by portishead. lotus flower by radiohead was amazing and renewed my faith in radiohead. i played my favorite tunes off of funeral by the arcade fire. LOVE by PLAN B was tasty. my favorite discovery song, swing tree had some deep bass. the ruby suns cheered me up and brought such fond memories. i thought of cameron strickland and j hill as i bumped some old school outkast. i gave neutral milk hotel a spin just for old times. i blazed the heater and rolled down the windows and listened to the blow's true affection. i ended my ride with get fly by atmosphere, a song which really highlights a bass-y stereo and also perfectly fit my mood. it was absolutely ridiculous that i cried. but i cried because moving on is so god damn bittersweet.
oh, and i realized i'm going to buy a new, most excellent home theater system.