Posts Categorized: ideas + opinions

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gah.

In other notes, it is time for California to succeed from the U.S.

All Soul’s Day, or I Miss These Ladies

1960 or 1961 - Great Aunt Babe, Great Grandma Rachel, and Grandma Grace

Wed 11.02.16 – Today is All Soul’s Day and while I am not a Roman Catholic – I find the idea of Purgatory to be quite alien – I do enjoy the days of Allhallowtide. At my Grandpa Jim’s Catholic funeral a few weeks ago, it was the priest’s reciting of the faithful dead’s names that sent tears falling down my face, particularly that my Grandma Grace’s name (first of four wives and a Protestant) was included in the list. Five an a half years later, I still miss my Grandma Grace something fierce.

Today, on All Soul’s Day, I give you three very awesome, independent ladies in 1960 or 1961: my Great Aunt Babe, my Great Grandma Rachel, and my Grandma Grace when they flew to Detroit from LA to pick up a brand new blue Cadillac and drive it all the way back to LA themselves. I like to imagine their road trip as a gun-free and slightly more proper version of Thelma and Louise.

The Years of Silence

It has been 5 years, 6 months, and 22 days since I was hit with a large shockwave that blew me off my daily blogging perch. I have struggled time and again during this past half a decade to resume a daily blogging practice to only have the silence over take my blog, my typing fingers, and more deeply my soul.

For many bloggers this past half a decade has been a time to leave their personal blogs for writing on their Twitter or Facebook or Medium or other social accounts. That has not been the case for me, as the silence has gone deeper: I quit Facebook in April 2012, I see no reason why I should write on Medium when I could write here, and my Tweeting has declined since 2011-2012 significantly.

No, the real problem that I have become silent. My whole world, internally and externally, has shrunk. And this is more than ok, it was necessary.

I have had one major cycle of quiet whole life silence in the past, where I withdrew into myself for a period of nearly four years. It was a time of reading, learning and conserving my energies before I jumped back out again.

I am not interested in discussing at length what happened in the past but finding a way forward from here. While I am not quite ready to be out and about yet, I am working steadily in the background; there are a number of background processes currently running of writing, thinking, and taking photos.

I am writing fiction stories to be published soon. And I am, also, thinking quite a bit on ideas and trends in technology and how people use it – whether I blog about it anytime soon remains to be seen. I continue to take and mostly post photos daily to Flickr and/or Instagram and/or here.

I don’t think the personal blog is dead. This one may be quiet and full of photos, but it is not dead and the background processes may very well come to the foreground soon.

Sunday Tidbits: Storytelling has a Shape

“Storytelling has a shape. It dominates the way all stories are told and can be traced back not just to the Renaissance, but to the very beginnings of the recorded word. It’s a structure that we absorb avidly whether in art-house or airport form and it’s a shape that may be—though we must be careful—a universal archetype.” – John Yorke, All Stories are the Same

“That is why I like novels: instead of heroes they have people in them.” – Ursula Le Guin, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction

“The anthropologists got it wrong when they named our species Homo sapiens (‘wise man’). In any case it’s an arrogant and bigheaded thing to say, wisdom being one of our least evident features. In reality, we are Pan narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee.” – Terry Pratchett, The Science of Discworld II

Welcome 2016!

Here is to a New Year, to new adventures, and an announcement from me very soon…

May your 2016 be a year of laughter, blessings, and adventures.

To quote a one Mr. Neil Gaiman from 2011:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

Halloween and All Souls – The Death of the Year

Local Halloween Decor

“Trickster is one of the few who passes easily through the borderlands. The rest of us must confront the guardians who rise to bar the way: the gods, faeries, and supernatural spirits whose role is to help or hinder our passage over boundaries and through gates, thresholds, and liminal states of mind. In folk tales, guardians can be propitiated, appeased, outwitted, even slain — but often at a price which is somewhat higher than one really wants to pay.” – Terri Windling in Halloween Approaches

May the tricksters who show up at your door tonight be happy to be paid in candy. Happy Halloween.

This is Good and Too Long Coming… Cuba & the US

Today President Obama announced that the US and Cuba are working on normalizing relations. This is good that the US and Cuba are moving forward into 21st century. It is even better to say goodbye to the vestiges of the 1950 and 1960s policy that no longer fits either nation or the current state of the world.

Many kudos to Pope Francis, President Obama, Raul Castro, and all the diplomats and staff of the Vatican, the US, and Cuba who worked on the talks to make today’s announcement possible.

We trade with and can visit Vietnam, so why not Cuba. We trade with and can visit Russia. And China. And Laos, as well as other formerly and currently communist countries. It is time for us to kiss Cold War posturing* goodbye.

United States, let’s take the normalizing of relations with Cuba one more step and lift the trade and travel embargo while we are at it.

* We can leave the Cold War posturing and nostalgia to Mr. Putin, which seems to be his favorite activity the last year plus. Maybe Mr. P. should think about actually governing his country and improving Russia’s economy…