October 31, 2005
un petit histoire
||mon histoire a finis, finalement!
je vous present:
"le coeur perdu."
Posted by wood0072 at 10:03 AM
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October 29, 2005
In a way, academia has always been blog-like, only at a slower level. A scholar publishes
an idea, then some one writes another and references the first scholar, and then more
proliferate off of that material, and then some more people go to graduate school and dig up
that stuff and write more stuff about all the stuff, agreeing, disagreeing, making FINITE
differences, declarations, arguments, assertions etc. Some scholars, like Freud or Plato
for instance, are likely to be academically and culturally rehashed forever. They represent
some of the foundations of how we have structured western meaning.
When I mentioned Berners-Lee's discussion of STRUCTURING information and meaning, I was also
thinking about how we, as scholars and thinkers, keep restructuring what we already
Take, for example, another of my favorite conundrums: the dual ideals of the purist starving artist, and the purist artist who is not starving. The hungry guy may well
think that a commisioned piece to feed his family is a good thing, and the well-fed fella can
afford to turn his nose up at less-than divinely inspired art.
In her paper on Feral Hypertext, Jill quotes Mez Breeze talking about the unmarketable
aspect of her work:
"It seems evident that various web/net/code artists are more likely to be accepted into an
academic reification circuit/traditional market if they produce works that reflect a
traditional craft-worker positioning. This "craft" orientation (producing
skilled/practically inclined output, rather than placing adequate emphasis on the conceptual
or ephemeral aspects of a networked, or code/software-based medium) is embraced and
replicated by artists who create finished, marketable, tangible objects; read: work that
slots nicely into a capitalistic framework where products/objects are commodified and hence
equated with substantiated worth."
This quote offers a not so subtle derision toward a capitalistic marketplace, and makes
assumptions about why "conceptual" and emphemeral" aspects get neglected on the web, if they truly do
get neglected. Again, it's presented as a dual concept, but nothing is so simple as this or
If an artist deliberately creates elusive or intangible work, how can she begrudge a lack of
community surrounding it? The web itself began as a conceptual idea, and then had to evolve
into tangible system.
But, really, if Mez's work is not intended for sale to begin with, what is, in fact, the
issue? "Adequate emphasis" is an ambiguous assessment. Her work is creative, but also a
call back to ancient languages, and, is also, overtly experimental. She wants to
criticize a capitalistic framework that excludes the intangible, but it is this same framework
that enables many artists to earn some income from their work. Breeze's work does not have
a large appeal, nor is it really accessible to the mainstream audience. These factors are
inherent to so-called "feral hypertext" that do not "follow the standards."
In the same vein, blogs are not really meant for commoditization, just as non-literary
diaries are not generally written for commercial purposes.
Walker brings up discipline on page three of her paper and one of the essential issues of the
web--regulation. Beyond the text, the web is another marketplace. People publish their
ideas, trying to sell them. The web is convenient, but also formed into a replica of the
rest of contemporary western life. Even as an information source, the web can connect an idea for you, but
you have to be willing to follow. The user still steers the course ultimately.
On page seven Walker discusses Justin Hall's past personal/public blog and suggests that the reader herself can define
the extent of his narrative; where did it end being Hall's narrative. Here we are again with the broadly scoped word "narrative." It
seems pretty basic to me. Hall wrote what Hall wrote. Anything else that others wrote
about his blog, he did not write. Anything that is read by some one has an afterlife beyond the initial text, but
that is not to say that the author can claim that "narrative."
Walker goes on to say that in a sense, she is "already trapped by an idea that boundaries
are neccessary." Not really. Sure, an individual uses hypertext, and individuals
collectively comprise the masses. An unplanned
structure is not uncontrollable, neccessarily. And the very nature of the programs and
tools we use to access the web ensure that we're not going to exceed the planned activities.
The medium is the message? The message is the medium? It's all pretty well contained and
overseen quite closely, relatively speaking.
I'm well aware that I might need to give Walker's paper a closer read. This is all pretty
off the cuff. Perhaps, also, I'm not convinced that the word "feral" is appropriate for
what she is describing. It doesn't resound with the topic in my mind.
Posted by wood0072 at 8:48 PM
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October 28, 2005
Game system as mother
The game system as mother entry
from Jill's blog signals that game studies must be close to
maturity if they have reached for the mother/baby/womb analogy.
mothers are as different snowflakes, which is why the general analogy is so often cliche to
some degree. i mean, psychoanalysis is interesting and all, and i've done my fair amount of
research on the mother archetype, but, sometimes, mother and baby should just stay out of
certain fields of study. Or, maybe I've just read too much feminist literary criticism.
Posted by wood0072 at 11:37 AM
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i haven't uploaded anything for about a year, so i'm having trouble remembering how to edit my path, er, something...anyway, i can't get my ftp to upload my html and my xyz.
and, i don't know why my table won't let me adjust its height. i'm might just sack the first attempt and start over. this is why i like scissors and glue so much.
i have been sitting at this computer so long. this is how i knew that i couldn't be a graphic designer or other type job that requires marriage to a computer.
i'm afraid my drawings look just as simple on the screen. when they get reduced too small they get too distorted, or gritty.
but, tomorrow is a new day in the land of html.
Posted by wood0072 at 10:18 AM
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October 26, 2005
Blog ubiquity, or dubiousity?
"According to a survey just done for Mandag Morgen (full text subscription only) and reported in Dagbladet, every third Norwegian published something online last week. Isnít that amazing? On the other hand, there are only 30,000 Norwegian blogs, and even thatís just an educated guess based on various data and not, obviously, an exact number. "
Why do we publish SO MUCH?
I'm interested in why people want to publish, and if everyone's publishing, what does it
mean for print culture and mass media in general? When mass print first became ubiquitous,
people were enthralled. It was a whole new world of possibilities. Now, it is hard to find a
place to rest your eyes without some text appearing in your field of vision.
blogs could be considered a whole new world of possibilites as well, but, with everything
given, something taken, and vice a versa. What exactly is the significance of what we might
now call further mass publishing, rather than mass printing. This seems like an opportunity
to dissect the various ideas of what it means to "publish" something.
Public television offers time slots for people who want to put their own show on television.
Public radio offers opportunities for listeners to call in. Anyone can print up a
pamphlet or a flyer, or even their own magazine or newspaper. But, the big question is: who
are you reaching with these mediums, and to what outcome?
The great leveler?
The ease of self-publication creates a crowded but democratized mass media--supposedly. but
you can pay premiums to search engines so that your business will be first hits. In
advertising the big bucks get the best slots.
I need to think about it more, but what exactly does the popularity of blogs actually mean?
Is it a trend? A natural phasing out of the pen and paper journal? A formalized chat
place? A place for 15 minutes of recognition?
Looking back on the history of orality, literacy, and publishing/communicating, I'm more apt
to think that the web is not a phenomenon, but a part of the process.
I've been reading Tim Berners-Lee's book, Weaving the Web
, about the advent of the World
Wide Web. His comments on the Web really resonated with me. To paraphrase, he said that all
information derives its meaning in relation to other information. i.e. the dictionary
defines words with other words. He said, what is important, is the STRUCTURE of the
information--the connectivity, which is what I've been rhapsodizing about all
In that way, blogs are perfect for the web. So often, the postmodern is isolated, even
barren, thinking there are no commonalities between us. But, everyone is connected, and the
web can illustrate that, especially through the mathematical routes that we may not have
thought of on our own.
But, then,can the altruistic intentions of the web actually work? What the Marxists forgot,
is that for the plan to work, everyone has to agree on the philosophy, and it's awfully hard
to achieve mass altruism.
Posted by wood0072 at 11:15 AM
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October 23, 2005
well, i've got my pictures scanned, and i've been playing with the sizes and such. this week i'll lay it out in dreamweaver, and take from there, i guess.
Posted by wood0072 at 8:05 PM
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October 22, 2005
Moving around rhizome
, I had a difficult time getting actually engrossed in the site. It all feels, somehow, disconnected from life, or rather, disconnected from usefulness. It is not that I believe that art has to have a purpose, but this art leaves me rather c-o-l-d. It does not elicit any sort of response or interest. is it because it is on the computer and i am sitting here alone in my office? do I want art to be more connected to life? I am left wondering, what exactly is the purpose of this art? It feels more like fancy exercise than fluid dancing; stairmaster vs. tango.
Until high-speed is less-expensive, I'm going to have dial-up from home, so many of the sites features, like Shadows Out of Time
, are going to take quite a bit of time to view from my home connection, which is where I usually am.
This may well sound like a repetitive and self-imposed gripe, but it feels like a silent playground for the artistic techies. I like art to have gobs of paint, smells, textures, organic mobility outside of the screen. brrr. cold.
Lately, I've been nearly collapsing under the weight of minutiae that fields of study can produce. It's interesting how the obsession with getting published has created this monster of text production and over-convolution of the subject matter They're like mutant cells, rapidly self-generating and perpetuating themselves. Is Rhizome another growth of this nature?
I wholly support networks of like-minded and/or free-thinking people, but I'm starting to lose any sort of grasp on the world beyond academia and intellectualism. Rather than art for art's sake, it seems more like intellectualism for intellectualism's sake. While modernists may have been of a binary mind, post-modernists seemed to be suspended mid-air in a long silent leap, springboarding away from the past, but into what?
So many isms. I'm a realist? and a humanist? and an individualist? and a transcendentalist? and a ... Can you really define this in isms? Can an ism retain any warmth from the breath of life within us? Maybe
I will just go back to my woods, and dodder by the stream, writing romantic poetry that sympathizes with the confused cynics of our time. Maybe
I've gone back to peruse Rhizome three or four times. Maybe
next week Rhizome will look totally different to me. or maybe
Posted by wood0072 at 10:58 AM
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October 21, 2005
Zimmerman's Naughty Terms
medium is the message?
To read Zimmermanís essay
, I copied it into word program so that I could print it out in fewer pages. I have to admit, once I took it out of the more artful design of the web page, it lost some of its gloss.
That got me to thinking about how aesthetics affect the reception of the words by the reader. On the ELO site
, it looked quite attractive, and if it had been in a book, it would have carried at least the authority that it had been deemed important enough for publication, but from the 12 point font of my black and white version, it didnít seem to carry much authority at all.
Perhaps this influenced my take on Zimmermanís essay, because, after I printed it out, I was able to reference various pages side by side, to write notes in the margins, and to read it easily without starting my computer. And so, on to the essay.
On the one hand, Zimmerman says that "shelves of books like this one are being written and published," on the other, he says "it's clear tht the 'game story' as a form remains largely unexplored." I'm wondering if Zimmerman needs some representational discipline.
At first, I thought the "discipline" theme might be kind of fun, especially compared to overly-convoluted writing of most academia, but it did not take long for the whole get-tough thing to seem a bit cutesy.
In truth, the essay did not truly clarify anything. And ironically, Zimmerman merely continues to quibble over the same issues he admonished in his introduction. As he continues the academic tradition of an over-proliferation of text, I was still left wondering why this dose of "discipline" is important, and still thinking, but they are just games afterall, which is perhaps the predictable fumble of those outside of the gaming world. I can't help but think the sociological and psychological implications of games are important, but important in many of the same functions that we already study.
resistance is defining.
Even as he begins his task, Zimmerman qualifies the essay's function by saying the terms he will spank, so to speak, are "signs for clusters of concepts," which would explain why his peers in the field cannot agree on proper definitions. "Clusters of concepts" is wriggily enough, and resists stable definition. Aside from that even, the "naughty" terms he is trying to regulate are not really "naughty," but inherently expansive terms that touch on nearly
every aspect of human life. Of course they will be difficult to corrall.
For example, Zimmerman writes that games must be voluntary, and that, if you're forced, you're not really playing. I disagree completely. You are still playing and interacting even if you're forced to. That seems obvious to me. And he says that "rules are essentially restrictive and limit what the player can do." I think that without rules, no one could play. Some rules can be very limiting, and some can create a sort of democratic opportunity. Undoubtedly, most attempts to concisely define terms like "game" or"play" will result in lengthy and contradictory ends.
Then he goes on to say that play is "uncertain, creative, improvisational, and open-ended." Well, maybe to a certain degree, but most study on play shows that there are unspoken and spoken established rules, whether it be concerning three year olds or adult basketball. It is usually not uncertain, and less often open-ended. Socially, we begin learning the rules of play very young, at one or less years of age. A player begins a game knowing where he wants the narrative, as Zimmerman calls it, to end.
To some degree, the over-academization of Ms. Pac-Man is typical of the huge gap between scholar/creator and actual product user. Ms. Pac-Man is about winning or losing a game, and about wasting time. People who have a very busy schedule do not have time to spend on video games. That is why the users are predominantlyadolescent or younger males. Generally speaking, females are more socially busy, leaving them less time for solitary activities
such as video games. I find it a stretch to say, as Zimmerman does, that Ms. Pac-man is a "narrative about life and death, about consumption and power."
I would imagine that the pleasures derived from games much depends on the kind of game being played, just as it would depend on what kind of book you read or movie you watched. To delve shallowly into theory, just as with other media, the experience between the player and the gamer creates what you might think of as a "cogito" (Georges Poulet), or consciousness, that exists as a result of the interaction, but I regard gaming as a sort of mind-off, blank consciousness that doesn't quite achieve the same kind of cognitive flexing that books, or even movies ask of the participant.
In some ways, video games remind me of sleeping dreams. The sleeper sees it happening, and it is useful to some degree in waking life, but if you sleep too much, you become a prisoner of your dreams.
Game, in the card or board game sense, are constructive for mind-bending, but above and beyond that, they are constructive as a social exercise. They are challenging in multiple ways because the tactics include social structure and
interface as well. You can play with others in an on-line game, but they still feel like an electronic being, like a computer entity.
Posted by wood0072 at 8:35 AM
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October 18, 2005
i love connectivity
i was just thinking how nicely my three classes are gaining cohesiveness, as in, relevance to each other, and creating a nice big picture of relatable material. i think, that what it says, maybe, is that the web is related to everything, at least everything i do.
there is already a large bit of web history that can be looked back upon, even as we are trying to figure out what is coming next. and not only does it affect how my personal day to day life is lived, it influences how i think about the theory i'm discussing in my classes.
i really like when things gel, and when i find connectivity.
also, on a different note, i think that because our class is so small we should all go out to the brewhouse at the end of the semester and congratulate ourselves for all of our fine accomplishments.
Posted by wood0072 at 10:40 AM
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October 14, 2005
this is kind of weird: i didn't do anything to it, but the words from the goddess mother's 'artemis' entry have vanished. seriously. it's almost a full moon, and we're approaching Halloween and the Day of the Dead...
Posted by wood0072 at 11:15 PM
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reshma sanyal, the author of this world as i see it, has some poetic entries. she uses pretty colors and different fonts and all that good stuff. and her photoblog has lots o neat shots.
reshma is from india so she goes to cool places, like calcutta, and has some different traditions, like pujas. and she spells pome,' pohm', which i think is pretty. she's kind of exotic and bohemian and down-to-earth, all at the same time. today is her birthday and she got lots of nice presents.
i've enjoyed her blog.some entries she just writes a pohm about wine, the next she might be tagged to write a 55-word story, the next she's talking about a trip she took. i don't know how old she is, or where she works, or any of her specifics, and i kind of like it that way.
i called reshma an 'author' on purpose because i'm tired of the literary canon and a bit tired of the bubble world of academia. this is brain fatigue talking, i'm sure.
in one of my classes we've been (re)reading the ole Barthes and Foucault and all that jazz about the almighty 'author,' that yes, i used to revere much more than i do now. authors used to be my superheroes, but now i know the kind of life scholars have to lead and... i want to live, more than posthumously. i want to get past myself, do i want to transcend...? that would be pretty sweet.
what is an author, what about the death of the author, am i an author? is anyone who can write an author?
i haven't even been drinking tonight. but i've got to run, i'm actually going out into the night way after my bedtime. so farewell, dear reader, i bid this tangentially challenged post, bon soir~*
Posted by wood0072 at 10:54 PM
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part of 'carnet's' beauty, is that, more than just a travel log, Thompson succeeded in making it a spiritual journey as well. roiling around in his heart and mind are all of these BIG big issues that he is trying to come to grips with. very likely, the intensity of his existential morass is not so overwhelming in his daily life in portland. for anyone who's travelled far from home, or even not far from home, the distance can make all of this toxicity rise to the surface, and lots of buried epiphanies as well. when you feel like a little lost island in a huge and strange world, you go inward, you despair, you revel in all of your own egocentric YOU.
my guess is that thompson unwittingly got as much out of the diary as his publishers, loved ones, and readers. he is really LOOKING, and LISTENING to everyone and everything around him. i really like the way he extracted the thoughtful moments in his trip and recorded them with their speaker.
lucia says, "as much as we are loved, we are still alone in certain decisions" (174).
craig says, "with nothing to distract me i had to face how UNHAPPY a person i am" (86).
i also really like the end of the book. he swam around in this quagmire of himself, but then, at the end, he suddenly grasped that time moves quickly, that you have to tell everything and everyone that you love them, that nothing is perfect, that the end always comes, that you get the good and the evil, you know, just a whole swarming recognition of the neccessary yin and yang yo-yo of what we call life.
Posted by wood0072 at 10:19 AM
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October 13, 2005
All the kings horses
I checked back in with my Iraq blog, Operation Truth
, run by war veterans, and linked to a new blog that they were featuring called All the King's Horses
written by a soldier named Daniel who has been in Iraq for almost 6 years.
He was supposed to be discharged after his fifth year but then the military instilled a new policy that required him to stay. He is patriotic and committed to his responsibility to the military, but becoming increasingly angry at the lies he receives from the U.S. gov't.
He fulfilled his obligation, and increasing calls into question the patriotic selflessness that he supposed to live by. It is the same kind of unquestioning selflessness that terrorists use to convince their followers. He mentions that the government has in fact imposed some restrictions on soldiers who blog. That raises so many key issues about free speech, national security, the borderless internet, etc.
It is an earnest and level-headed blog that reflects what many soldiers are experiencing daily in Iraq. I really like his blog name, which he said derives from his wish to believe he is more than a mere kings horse, that he has a purpose, that he will get his life back, that he will respect his country again.
Posted by wood0072 at 10:47 AM
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October 9, 2005
creating warm autumnal memories
we had a very bizzy wknd. my threshold for social interaction was reached, and maybe even surpassed, but on the whole, especially now that i am back in my cozy house, it was fun to be so bizzy. i neglected to bring my camera anywhere, darn it.
i finally made it over to Bayfield for the apple party. it was very crowded, but a lovely drive. and we went over to madeline island on the ferry. i always seem to forget that those things are mostly about buying stuff and eating and drinking.
today we went to Nordic Ridge farm over by Grand Rapids. I've been meaning to do that for quite awhile as well. the farm rocked. and it was another beauty of a day, weather-wise. there was a big corn field maze, and a huge tube slide that came out of the hayloft and animals and hayrides and so on, and pumpkins, of course. we got a humongo pumpkin. i could barely carry it back to the car. it's pretty sweet.
i kind of carpe diemed the wknd cuz you never know when the weather gods will smile on you in october. and i got to go for trail run. I LOVE FALL IN MINNESOTA!
and before i forget, the nordic ski swap is nov.12 at snowflake. the alpine swap was this wknd at spirit. i was thinking about getting a snowboard but maybe that will have to wait and be my reward for finishing this silly degree i'm working on.
now that i'm done, recapping my wknd i feel like i should receive some sort of commission from the mn tourism council.
Posted by wood0072 at 9:29 PM
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a night with artemis
we killed in the dark of the new moon last night. a grand beast, the arrow snuffed him immediately, and gave him a peaceful exit.
we dragged him to the boat, and paddled him home. tonight we will practice the rites for an honorable passage, and show our respect to the mother earth from which he came.
we have meat for the winter, and a new hide for our boots. artemis was running with us.
we offer our thanks,
and our respect.
Posted by wood0072 at 3:43 AM
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October 8, 2005
i think elvira fulch and my wiccan earth goddess mother should get together and talk about hunting. gathering from fulch's last letter
her zealousness for hunting could use some redirecting into a more positive energy flow, and the goddess is all about positive flow.
the goddess would probably love to meet patches
, as well. the feline nightwalkers may be tempermental, but they are old and wise, and royal, afterall. the feline is also, one of nighttime's stealthiest hunters.
how wonderful that the blog has helped bring us all together.
Posted by wood0072 at 9:33 PM
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red, red moon
What a cleansing our mother earth had this week! the rain washed away the last dust of summer.
now the crisp air will sharpen our senses and clear our minds so that we may efficiently prepare for the coming winter.
october is the month of the blood moon, or hunter's moon, because of the hunters who kill by the light of the red moon, gathering meat for the cold months.
this month we'll have a lunar eclipse on the 27th.
last night, through a bright window, i saw andrea, drinking shiraz and breaking bread to the sound of dueling guitars. i like to see her on the waxing side of life.
Posted by wood0072 at 7:41 AM
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October 5, 2005
The moon and barometric pressure
I've been intermittently obsessed with an idea lately: the connection between the phases of the moon, barometric (or atmospheric) pressure, storms, and human social behavior. it's kind of a lot to weave instantaneously, but for the past two new moons, this Monday being the most recent, we've had big rain storms, Dayna finally got some waves, and the people around me have undergone more angsty strife than usual.
This is highly anecdotal and speculative, but I just know some one must have explained this all somewhere. I been looking on the web, but haven't found the right scientist who confirms my thinking. There is a substantial amount of writing about the moon's relationship to the female reproductive cycle, but I think it goes further than that, and causes more planetary occurrances than we realize.
do any of you know about this stuff? from gardeners to fishermen, to anthropologists to geologists to meteorologists, the moon can give you clues to so much. it's probably very simple, but I can't seem to find a good book about.
On this moon phase finder
site you can enter you birthdate and it will tell you how the moon shown as you entered the world.
Posted by wood0072 at 12:39 PM
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October 2, 2005
where's my image
I can't get my html project image to show. can anyone help me?
I've always like the lacanian ink website
, though i don't think i can aim quite that high in the technical ability area.
i really want my image to show. blast it!
Posted by wood0072 at 10:22 AM
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why be a normal mom?
thank goddess the new moon comes after midnight this eve.
andrea has been locked away in her house all wknd, though ineffectually, i fear.
she wouldn't let me visit, but i peeked in her window at midnight and all i could see was the glow of her monitor. all of that centralized electricity is unnatural. her biorhythms are going to go bonky.
but, as the moon rises to waxing, i'd bet a frog's tongue and a lizard's toe that she'll be throwing a dinner party by next wknd. she is such a cosmic child, still.
Posted by wood0072 at 10:00 AM
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October 1, 2005
i'm trying to muster up the kind of resolve that revises research papers in need of huge help.
of course i keep wishing that i could write poetry, or go hiking, or buy a new bike, or floss my teeth, or read the newspaper...but i have to say NO, by god, NO. i locked my self in my office, but now here i am posting.
what has 75 balls and screws old ladies?
sorry if that was too lewd, but not really, i mean get your mind out of the gutter!
it is, of course, beautiful outside. i get to go out at 3 if i've at least made a decent effort.
it's helpful to split myself into 2 people on days like today.
"now andrea, if you don't get some work done i'm going to kick your ass
"oh, now you don't really mean that, besides, i'm not a violent person..."
"who are you kidding? i've seen you drive, anyway, get to work, NOW!"
see how that works? very useful at times. speaking of The Times.
Some interesting stuff in the news about journalistic integrity lately. and they think the web is unreliable. this reverence for the written word can equal a blind faith of sorts that has paralleled, historically, another type of blind faith that we've been discussing in my History of Reading class, and that our fearless leader also employs for his own purposes. i'll leave it obscurely at that.
now, where did i put that key...
Posted by wood0072 at 9:12 AM
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