Thursday, January 29, 2009

Local news at noon, or there abouts

Yesterday I finished the first issue of the newsletter I volunteered to help with. Next month's publication shouldn't take as long although I do have a genius for complicating very simple tasks.

In other news, I'm holding to my decision to downsize the Bird Park, or at least be more selective about who I roll the welcome mat out for. I tried but couldn't entirely cut off the magpies. That early morning guy kept showing up looking for peanuts so, yes, I toss a few out but I am not going back to the way is was, obsessively shelling and crushing large amounts of peanuts to keep the park flush most of the day. As you might recall, that led to magpies and crows snacking on the quail babies. I had to choose.

The office re-organization, begun last New Year, is creeping along. I managed to hold the line in '08 so I didn't have to start over in '09. For me, holding the line is progress. And this year already I have managed to eliminate one desk and replace it with an only slightly dented but otherwise lovely secondhand white metal bookshelf ($15) with a much smaller footprint which absorbs the items formerly piled on the gone desk, thereby allowing me to shift the PO tub and shelves to the same wall, thus making the entrance to my office less like a tunnel, big victory, although the Invisible Theatre stage may swap places with the bookshelf later because the light is better there for photos and video but I don't have to do everything at once, do I? And this morning more small changes afoot. Without an additional purchase, although I have a couple in mind down the line, I believe I can move the synthesizer keyboard into my office without being bottoms up for days in a very messy revision that might not work anyway. Wish me luck. Looks like it will fit on top of the other desk that is currently earmarked for removal. I will have to use earphones when the keyboard is in my office but what the hell? Keyboards are portable. If I want to mix or record anything or play through the speakers, I can take it out to the front room. I love baby steps.

One last thing. Yesterday, Kimberlee's post, Gringa in Santiago, motivated me to desperate measures as the little Spanish I acquired in Centroamerica, in language school and via the gentler kinder method, osmosis, has been melting like the ice caps. I've had fantasies of asking a stranger, maybe some lady shopping in the grocery store, if she would consider being my language buddy but, no matter how I ran the scenario in my head, it always ended with a very uncomfortable stranger backing away and me feeling like a creepy idiot. However, I have had one possible candidate in mind for a while, the manager of the G'ville Fish store where I bought the bookshelf last week (secondhand store, not secondhand fish). He's a nice guy, Spanish is his native language, and we already have that all-important nodding acquaintance so yesterday, after reading about Kimberlee's first day in Spanish class, I did it. I asked if he'd mind it if I practice my (mutilated) Spanish on him. He not only said yes but added that we could help each other as he is always interested in improving his English. He's already very proficient but I am delighted to reciprocate. Cool. There is always more to learn about a language. Myself, I'm still learning English.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

BANNED - Veggie Love

Too hot for Superbowl!

Heh heh. GO PETA!

I've been a veggie for years and highly recommend it.

It's way healthier, although I did have my cheesy puff phase. But if the PETA video offends your moral, aesthetic, or intellectual sensibilities, or you are outraged because they are exploiting women by pandering to stupid, sexist pigs remember that glamourless guys like Pythagoras, Plato, Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, Van Gogh, and Albert Einstein were also vegetarians. I don't know about Cartman.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Nigerian police detain goat

We are still living in the fucking dark ages.This kind of shit makes me sick. It's not quaint or funny. It's pathetic. And it's dangerous. I put witchcraft, evangelical religion, sexism, speciesism, conspicuous consumption, and other things, all on the same lunatic continuum...but no time now. Gotta go.

Police parade goat as robbery suspect

The goat "suspect" is being detained over an alleged attempt to snatch a Mazda car. The mysterious goat, according to the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Tunde Mohammed, while briefing bewildered journalists at the Force headquarters, is an armed robber who attempted to snatch the said car, Wednesday night, and later transformed into the goat in a bid to escape arrest.

He explained that men of a vigilance group in Anifowose Ipata/Oloje areas of the state capital had chased two armed robbery suspects who wanted to demobilise the Mazda car with the intention of stealing it, and

"while one of them escaped, the other was about to be apprehended by the team when he turned his back on the wall and turned to this goat. They quickly grabbed the goat and here it is.’’ Mohammed said.

More at Vanguard Online

A "Vigilance Group". Right. A mob of idiots. Leave the poor goat alone.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dear Mr. President

These delightful snippets come via Huffingtonpost. No surprise really but these kids are all smarter than Bush & Company. Will we prove to be now that it's time to act?

Dear Mr. President,

I'm writing to you so you can hear a kid's point of view. Lots of people care about global warming. I think if you could find a way to let people know that you care about our environment, you could set a good example. I bet you could make lots of people bike to places or recycle, or even use less electricity. - Elise

To start off, I want to say this is a serious letter. Don't read this letter thinking that I'm just a puny 5th grader in Massachusetts whose opinion doesn't matter, because I know it does. And if a little President's helper is reading this, give it to the President. - Harry

I would like you to be friendly to other countries and save our environment. - Stephanie

If global warming is not decreased it will become extremely dangerous. Many polar bears are dying. - Henry

I think you should pay attention to global warming. Why? Because global warming is happening on our planet Earth where both you and I live. - Erin

You should donate money to save the rain forest charities and recycle charities. People are out there trying to have a voice and say in what's going on in the global warming, but nobody listens. But you have a voice in this, you can do a lot. - Eliza

You can make cars that go by sunlight, like solar cars! - Yoojin

No school on Fridays. Less homework. Stop the war. Stop global warming. - Ben

You could spend money on trying to find more green stuff like extremely fuel efficient vehicles. - Eliza

If you don't take my advice many children will be mad at you! So would you want the children of the U.S.A. thinking they are living in a horrible place or would you want them to be happy? - Jameson

I hope you understand I'm not demanding you to do these, I'm asking you. I want you to try to think about global warming. We all don't want the water levels to rise. - Anna

I simply hope that you can solve the problems of the world, and make it a better place for everyone. - Warren

Congratulations President Obama! We wish you and your family the best!
- The Park School Fifth Grade

Monday, January 19, 2009

Torture Prosecutions

On the eve of Bush and Cheney's exit from office it is vital to remember that...

Silence is compliance.

Bush and his administration must be prosecuted for their war crimes, especially for ordering acts of torture. If we allow them to walk away from these criminal acts, we are as guilty in our cowardly silence, as they by willfully violating both Constitutional and International law.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Notes from the crossroad

I am currently in the middle of what is shaping up to be my yearly new year's office re-organization. Last year's attempt, while a good start, didn't quite meet the projected goal. It is still frightfully congested in here. Adding a desk did not magically result in one open surface. The new space quickly became as cluttered as all the others. I could have told myself that last year. Did. The only problem was I wasn't listening. However, this year I tweaked the concept. Reduce surface space. Reduce opportunity for chaos. Here's how it works. Toss out two tables. Replace with one cheap, small computer desk. Add one bookshelf. Move shit around. This time it is going to be different.

Anyway, just thinking with my fingers. Talking to myself. Technorati puts this blog in 1,150,716th place. Dismal. That makes the language barrier a very tucked away corner of the digital multiverse, much like a tiny corner table in a noisy, overcrowded coffee house with steamy windows and an anything can happen, don't know where this is going, crossroad of the world feeling.

I have to stop now. I'm meeting a guy in Reno in a couple of hours to discuss a tiny newsletter type thing I'm going to be working on now that I'm back, provided I don't lose my left hand. If I am reduced to a one-hand-hunt-n-peck, I would probably be a little choosier with my time at the keyboard. Swirling around the event horizon would but probably, remain high on the list while public service work could drop a notch or two. I just jammed a seam ripper about a half inch into the fleshy part between my thumb and hand. Puncture wound. Deep. A full force flaying of the flesh that would be impossible to do intentionally. I have little interest in being a fall on my sword hero. I doused it with everything in the bathroom. It doesn't look like much now but it did some mighty throbbing in the beginning. Already, I'm thinking HOOK!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Typewriter to Bookstore

Going to finally finish that manuscript this year? The Digital Marketing Team at Macmillan threw together this little video to enlighten us all on the next step....

A publishing story


Growing up moose.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tara & Bella

Here's a happy story about a very odd couple:

Note: Video begins with a LOUD obnoxious 30 second commercialso, before starting the video, turn volume off.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Evening in León

Sometimes the camera does catch the mood of the moment. Or enough to remember it by. In any case, this is one of my favorites. And just to be clear, I did not tweek any of these photos, in any way. The light and colors appear exactly as they were, which really amazes me because they were so theatrical and painterly.

Evening in León - Nicaragua

It was one of four.

Bob Wilkins died today. :(

Monday, January 5, 2009

Hand out

Mary Mungummory waits for her daily hand out at the kitchen door while inside Paloma the dog takes advantage of the distraction to search for scraps on the floor. But, in spite of this apparently homey scene at Monty's Surf Camp, Jiquilillo beach is no animal haven. There, as elsewhere in Centroamerica (and the world) injured, sick, starving, often homeless animals are not only systematically neglected, they are abused. As for the precocious Ms. Mungummory, I have no doubt that one day soon it will be her body roasting on the flame.

It is a bother to notice them. And it is an even bigger bother to actually do something to help one of them. Plus, everything excuses our indifference... poverty, religion, tradition... an indifference that is enshrined in the slag of specieism. But nothing makes it right.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Bird Park blues

Baby Woodstock, summer rescue
The first day of the new year still hangs in rear view mirror but soon it will fade from view like all the others. Today, outside my window, I watched a hawk capture a small bird and carry it off. The Bird Park used to be a refuge for the little guys but last summer was a tipping point and since then it's become a regular hunting ground for the scavengers. Even cats make the rounds. Life. Everyone's food for someone. Except for a few morning peanuts, I stopped putting out food for the big birds but, in the two weeks we've been home, it's clear the word is out.

Today, I feel like I'm on the downside of everything. I don't really like being back. I feel very isolated here but here we are. I know the mood will pass but the fact will not. Anyway, I've been adding a lot of photos to my Centroamerica album on flickr if you're interested.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year, 2009

Meet Sweet William, the newest member of the troupe. His origin is shrouded in mystery. All we know is that he crossed the snow-covered mountains of Montana and the vast desert region of the Great Basin to join us, a gift from my son and his lovely wife. No doubt about it. Sweet William is a charmer. Heartbreakingly sweet. Everyone loved him instantly, but tricky old Uncle Monkey had an apple up his sleeve and claimed the honors.

here's to a saner, healthier,
more peaceful future for all
inhabitants of planet Earth
from all of us here at the
Language Barrier & Invisible Theatre.

Come on. Visualize Peace.